Reinvented Murano Glass Art: From Venini to Finiels

During the 20th century, Murano glass witnessed an unprecedented transformation that saw the industry evolve into a global brand and a distinctive art. With incredibly beautiful glass produced by influential glass masters such as Paolo Venini, Archimede Seguso, Gino Cenedese and many others, it is no wonder that contemporary designers such as Silvia Finiels have found this heritage an inexhaustible source of inspiration and prolific resources.
Insights into the Murano history during the last century revealed a fascinating phenomenon that led to the industry revival overall and transformed Murano glass into a stable force and staple source for hand-produced glass art.  
Paolo Venini appears to be the catalyst of change in the Murano glass industry. A trained lawyer with a practice in Milan, Venini turned his attention to Murano and opened a glass factory here in 1921, being amongst the first to realize the importance of involving artists from different fields into the process of creation. Collaborations with prominent designers, sculptors or painters such as Napoleone Martinuzzi, Carlo Scarpa or Fulvio Bianconi as well as Scandinavian designers such as Tapio Wirkkala contributed to Venini’s success. By mid-century, Venini was still considered to be the leading glass maker in Murano.
In addition to Venini, other Muranese superstars such as Alfredo Barbini, Ercole Barovier, Gino Cenedese, Antonio Salviati or Archimede Seguso created such a momentum in the 1950s that the glass factories they were associated with are still among the leaders in Murano today, with their earlier production having gained well-deserved recognition.
Overall, in the 20th century, especially during the 50s and 60s, Murano glass witnessed a new wave of innovation that saw the industry embrace modern design concepts and introduce new techniques, elevate shapes and eliminate function, becoming thus glass art in its own right.
It is not surprising that, in recent years, artists and designers have continued to leverage the extraordinary tradition of Murano glass to create new and exciting works. Creating striking lamp sculptures that bring together disparaged pieces of “historic” glass, Silvia Finiels has certainly managed to carve a very unique niche in the Muranese glass design-scape.
A Parisian artist with a background in fashion design, Silvia has passionately progressed into glass design after she moved to Venice in the 90s and fell in love with beauty of this exquisite glass. With a superb ability to bring together shapes and volumes, colors and textures, Silvia creates stunning artifacts that pay tribute to the great Murano glass artists, while lending them her unique contemporary aesthetics blended with a theatrical dimension.
In her creations, Silvia carefully chooses beautiful glass pieces created with specific mid-century techniques; she re-interprets them through the lens of her own aesthetic, with the artistic intention to bring into spotlight particular elements while paying tribute to the works of original glass master.
Silvia Finiel’s lamps are a testament to the enduring legacy of Murano glass and the ingenuity of contemporary designers. Her lamps feature unique combinations of glass pieces from different eras and styles, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that blend the past with the present. Thus, she leverages on the rich Murano glass heritage while pushing the boundaries of the art that can be created with Murano glass.
At Bespoke Selections, we are honored to exclusively represent Silvia and her artistic interests in the United Arab Emirates.