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Nomad Venice

In a restored gothic palace, Nomad presents collectible design in tune with The Venice Glass Week.

Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, Venice

5th – 8th September 2019

 

By Anna Sansom / 3rd September 2019

The fifth edition of Nomad, an itinerant event for showcasing collectible design, swoops into Venice this week. After previous editions held in St Moritz in Switzerland and Monaco, the venue this time is a restored palazzo in the Cannaregio district where 15 design and art galleries and 11 special projects are exhibiting over four floors. David Gill and Fumi from London, Nilufar from Milan and Victoria Miro from London/Venice are among those participating.

Sam Orlando Miller, ‘Ghirlande di Lacrime Estive’, 2019 COURTESY: Gallery Fumi, London

Sam Orlando Miller, ‘Ghirlande di Lacrime Estive’, 2019
COURTESY: Gallery Fumi, London

“Static fairs like Art Basel and the Armory Show, which keep the same dates and the same locations, offer no opportunity to experience new cities and discover interesting, private collections,” says Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte, who co-founded Nomad with Giorgio Pace. “Nomad has a travelling perspective of innovation and of occupying special architecture. Instead of being in a big exhibition hall, Nomad is going to be in an amazing palazzo that has been renovated over the last seven years by the new owner and is one of the greatest examples of gothic architecture.”

Entrance of Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel COURTESY: Nomad

Entrance of Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel
COURTESY: Nomad

Bellavance-Lecompte is an architect and co-owner, with Quentin Moyse, of Carwan Gallery, a contemporary design gallery in Beirut which is an exhibitor at Nomad. Pace, meanwhile, has a creative consultancy that connects luxury brands with art and culture enterprises. He is juxtaposing the classical painting ‘Diana e Endimione’ (1660-1665) by Giuseppe Nuvolone with contemporary glass sculptures by Marco Parmeggiani in the special projects section.

Nomad Venice coincides with the 58th edition of the Venice Art Biennale (until 24th November) and The Venice Glass Week, 7th-15th September. The latter sees presentations of works in glass by masters, workshops, artists and designers taking place all over Venice and Murano. A presentation dedicated to the artist Egidio Costantini (1912-2007) is at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, while works by the Campana Brothers, Barber & Osgerby, Marcel Wanders and Tokujin Yoshioka are on view at Louis Vuitton.

The scene will be set by the multi-disciplinary Como-based design studio Draga &Aurel, who will install ORMEGGI, an arrangement of bespoke pieces inspired by Venetian  architecture and the lagoon, in the arcade entrance to the palazzo, overlooking the lagoon.

Draga&Aurel, 'ORMEGGI’ installation at the entrance of Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel. COURTESY: Filippo Bamberghi

Draga&Aurel, ‘ORMEGGI’ installation at the entrance of Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel.
COURTESY: Filippo Bamberghi

To chime with the spirit of The Venice Glass Week, several of Nomad’s exhibitors are bringing over works in glass by their designers. Gill is featuring Mattia Bonetti’s ‘Murano’ collection, comprising table lamps, mirrors, a chandelier and a side table that were handmade in Murano in collaboration with the island’s glass-blowers.

Mattia Bonetti, ‘Table Lamp, Murano collection’, 2019 COURTESY: David Gill Gallery

Mattia Bonetti,
‘Table Lamp, Murano collection’, 2019
COURTESY: David Gill Gallery

Fumi is presenting Sam Orlando Miller’s new light sculpture, ‘Ghirlande di Lacrime Estive’ (2019), made of garlands of hand-cut pieces of golden bronze and jade green mirror, while Galleri Format Oslo, a Norwegian contemporary crafts gallery, is displaying glass sculptures by Kari Håkonsen and Kari Mølstad.

Kari Håkonsen, ‘Mirage’, 2016 COURTESY: Galleri Format Oslo / PHOTOGRAPH: Finn Manford

Kari Håkonsen, ‘Mirage’, 2016
COURTESY: Galleri Format Oslo / PHOTOGRAPH: Finn Manford

Kari Mølstad, ‘Current’, 2019 COURTESY: Galleri Format Oslo / PHOTOGRAPH: Jørn Hagen

Kari Mølstad, ‘Current’, 2019
COURTESY: Galleri Format Oslo / PHOTOGRAPH: Jørn Hagen

Domitilla Harding’s hand-blown vases, made last year, are at Nilufar. And India Mahdavi’s ‘Pistil’ table with a flower shaped table-top and ‘Clover’ chandelier are at WonderGlass (London). Both pieces are made from pulegoso glass – a technique to absorb air bubbles in glass invented by Napoleone Martinuzzi, who was art director at Venini, a prominent producer of Murano glass, in the 1920s.

India Mahdavi, 'Pistil' table, 2019 COURTESY: WonderGlass, London

India Mahdavi, ‘Pistil’ table, 2019
COURTESY: WonderGlass, London

A rather fun piece can be discovered at Galleria Luisa Delle Piane (Milan): Andrea Branzi’s ‘Giove’ (2015) – a library made from plexiglas from his ‘Transparency’ collection. With its wave-like, fuchsia base and circular, jellyfish-like shelves, it evokes fluidity, freedom and playfulness.

Andrea Branzi, 'Giove' library (2015) COURTESY: Galleria Luisa Delle Piane, Milan

Andrea Branzi, ‘Giove’ library (2015)
COURTESY: Galleria Luisa Delle Piane, Milan

Not to be missed is Carlo Scarpa’s ‘Chandelier, 16 arms’ (circa 1930) at Giustini/Stagetti (Rome). Scarpa (1906-1978), a Venetian modernist architect, worked as a glass designer at Venini before focusing his career on architecture. He designed the sculpture garden at the back of the central pavilion in the Giardini, the Venezuela pavilion and the garden of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, among other places. Made from amber and red glass, the chandelier is an exquisite example of his early work.

Carlo Scarpa, ‘Chandelier, 16 arms’, circa 1930 COURTESY: Giustini/Stagetti, Rome

Carlo Scarpa, ‘Chandelier, 16 arms’, circa 1930
COURTESY: Giustini/Stagetti, Rome

The sixth edition of Nomad will be held in St Moritz in February 2020.

Nomad Venice – an event for collectors, interior designers, architects and art and design professionals.

The Venice Glass Week – an international festival dedicated to the art of glass, with a particular focus on that of Murano.

Biennale Arte 2019 – the 58th International Art Exhibition.

Article By

Anna Sansom
Anna Sansom is a Paris-based journalist who writes about art, design and architecture for The Art Newspaper, Frame, Damn and Sotheby's Magazine, among other publications.