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“From Sand, Artworks in Glass”, Giorgio Vigna, ‘Acque Astrali’, 2018-2019, ‘Cosmografie’, 2018

12 Sep 2020 - 30 Oct 2020

Giorgio Vigna

Acque Astrali,2018-2019

Murano glass

variable dimensions


Cosmografie, 2018

ink on paper

two panels of 101 x 71 cm


It all begins with water: cosmic water as source of life, running water always in motion, solidified water in the transparencies of glass. Water is the gateway to micro and macrocosm: the Cosmografie draw extraordinary astronomical geographies, like maps to get lost in, details that suck the gaze, immensity that confuses perceptions. They are wide-open windows to the universe, overlooking the micro-galaxies and spinning comets, pages of a fantastic astronomy book to flip through while chasing primordial memories.

Three-dimensional organic shapes sprouting from the two-dimensional sheet, drops of light, transparent meteorites, bubbles of an endless ever-changing sea: the water regenerates itself through the glass announcing unusual metamorphoses and new rhythms of circular time. Glass becomes the main character  of an astral scene where lights, shadows, gleams and transparencies narrate fragments of a mysterious celestial vault, offering itself to the view of the passer-by inviting him  to feel part of the journey and to infinitely do and undo his own inner landscape.


BUILDINGBOX is dedicating the 2019-2020 season to contemporary glass art with the project Dalla sabbia, opere in vetro [From Sand, Artworks in Glass], an exhibition spread over 12 monthly appointments, curated by BUILDING in collaboration with Jean Blanchaert.

The eighth artist is Giorgio Vigna, who presents two artworks in dialogue with each other, Acque Astrali and Cosmografie.


The title, Dalla sabbia, opere in vetro[From Sand, Artworks in Glass], evokes the fascinating alchemy involved in creating this material from sand, using air and fire, presenting the work of contemporary artists who have chosen to explore the potential offered by this medium. It is the experimental approach that makes these works so exemplary and precious: they are conceived by artists who use various different techniques, some of which are not usually associated with the specific characteristics of glass. This project resonates with BUILDING’s mission of exploring the lesser known aspects and experimental side of the art world, along with more celebrated figures and practices.

Here the focus is on the creative relationship forged between the artist’s vision and the craft of master glassmakers. Easily shaped by skilled hands, glass assumes “fragile” forms that both connect with the artistic traditions of the past and at the same time open up to a formal perspective grounded in contemporary aesthetics. The theme of the project lies in the works themselves, rooted in an age-old history and ancient craft, bearers of a precise chemical combination of different elements developed 4000 years ago by the Phoenicians, and which still holds infinite potential.

For 12 months a sequence of works by various artists will be hosted in the independent showcase, visible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, marking the passing of time and eliciting broader reflections on how time tends to dominate space.


Biographical notes


Giorgio Vigna was born in Verona in 1955. He completed his artistic education between his hometown, Venice, Rome and Milan.

He is an artist who creates natural forms capable to manifest primary and primordial aspects at the boundary between reality and imagination. Adventures of land and water, of fire and wind in which natural and artificial, poor and precious are combined. Vigna moves on the border between the real and the imaginary world, between what is and what appears.

His works, from sculptures to jewels, from works on paper to installations, reflect the depth of his constant research. He uses various materials including glass, metals and paper, treated in new and surprising way. Vigna explores them and tries to reveal their hidden possibilities. The forms are primary, as the expression of the elements with which he works. Strong and natural, universal and timeless, full of symbolic values.

In 2003 Giorgio Vigna created the site specific installation La Radurafor Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu which started the Olnick Spanu Art Program (Magazzino Italian Art).

In 2013, the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona hosted the solo show Stati Naturali, for which Giorgio Vigna created the permanent glass installation Acquariafor Carlo Scarpa’s fountain. In 2017 for the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice he created the work Fuochi di Rugiada, created by Vetreria Venini. His works are part of public and private collections including: MAD, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, USA; The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii; Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy; Castelvecchio Museum, Verona, Italy; Glass Museum, Murano, Venice, Italy; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, USA; IMA, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, Athens, Greece; Museo degli Argenti, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy; Miaao [International Museum of Applied Arts Today], Turin, Italy; Olnick Spanu Art Program, Garrison, New York, USA; Olnick Spanu Collection, New York, USA; Diane Venet Collection, Paris, France; Designmuseo, Helsinki, Finland; Civic Collection of Prints Achille Bertarelli, Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy; Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva, Switzerland; Permanent Collection Raffaele Cominelli Foundation, San Felice del Benaco, Brescia, Italy; Bellini Pezzoli Collection, Sforzesco Castle, Milan, Italy.