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
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sixth edition of NOMAD will be held in St Moritz in February 2020.