LONDON.- David Gill Gallery
is presenting a new body of work by Paris-based artist Mattia Bonetti. The pieces were handmade in Murano with the artist and acknowledge the historical glass-blowing techniques of the island while pushing the possibilities of the material to their limits.
While Bonetti has worked with glass once before, at CIRVA (Centre Internatioanal de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts Plastique), in Marseilles, under the tutelage of maestro Lino Tagliapietra, this collection is a departure for him, requiring an unprecedented level of research. Bonettis fascination with the centuries-old process of free-blowing and the magic of turning a piece of glass into a molten mass before its transformation into a nuanced object, lead him to Murano. Here, he was able to translate his detailed sketches, working closely with the islands renowned artisans.
Time spent on the Island of Glass has profoundly influenced Bonettis practice, and the collection is imbued with the texture of the environment. His palette of green, gold, yellow, white and blue evokes watery reflections and huge skies, as well as the art and architecture of Venice. The citys chiaroscuro contrasts of light and dark are palpable in the counterbalance of lightness and heaviness inherent in blown glass.
Leaves are such a familiar Venetian motif, often found on chandeliers, Bonetti has enlarged traditional leaf shapes and used them on mirrors and sconces, but his contemporary interpretation honours local design practice. The classical forms and Grecian decorations of the collection are a celebrated feature of Bonettis repertoire, but they also reference the neoclassicism introduced to the Venetian Republic in the 1730s by Alessandro Pompei.
For an artist as mercurial and multi-talented as Bonetti, a single aesthetic is never enough and he brings a contemporary element to the collection with his Grate pieces, Bonetti has taken small sticks of glass, classic Murano elements, and criss-crossed them into a modern, geometric design.
Born in 1952 in Lugano, Switzerland, Mattia Bonetti studied textile design at the Centro Scolasitico per lIndustria Artistica, before moving to Paris in 1972. There, he worked as a stylist and photographer, shooting hand-made miniature interiors which kick-started his love of furniture design. He met Elizabeth Garouste in 1987 and they worked as a design partnership for several years, first exhibiting with David Gill in 1988, in London.
Bonetti showed his inaugural solo collection in 2004, at David Gill Gallery, and his 30-year working relationship with Gill is as exciting, creative and fruitful as ever. Key moments in their collaboration include the pieces Grotto, Atlantis and Bubblegum, using materials such as patinated bronze, marble and acrylic.
Mattia Bonetti works are collected by numerous public institutions, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
In June 2015 David Gill Gallery hosted the UK launch of a two volume monograph on Bonetti by Jacqueline du Pasquier and Jean Jacques Wattel, published by Editions Louvres Victoire.