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Laura de Santillana
[Glass ]
Item Number:8
Special collaboration exhibition celebrates Kondaya’s 280th anniversary

Kondaya Genbey x Laura de Santillana
Moon : Tsuki wo koso …

October 6th ~ 8th, 2018
Press Preview : October 5th , 2 – 6 PM
Venue: Kondaya
Muromachi-sanjosagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Many a time have I gazed at the moon
But never so poignant did it seem
As amid tonight’s star-strewn skies

Poem by Kenreimon-in Ukyō no Daibu (ca. 1157 – ca. 1233),
Japanese noblewoman, Heian Period (794 – 1185)

Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition celebrating the mastery of renowned artist Laura de Santillana (b. 1955, Venice) alongside Genbey Yamaguchi, the 10th generation owner of the famous Kyoto obi (or kimono sash) atelier, Kondaya. This exclusive, deliberately fleeting installation marks the 280th anniversary of the exceptional Japanese design house (founded in 1738), interweaving hundreds of years of Japanese silk dyeing tradition with 30 breathtaking glass works.
From October 5 through 8, a beautiful interplay between light and fabric will invigorate the rich heritage of the Kondaya space in Kyoto, Japan.
The theme of gazing during this exibition was drawn from the beautiful poetry of Japanese noblewoman, Kenreimon-in, in a judiciously crafted translation. The word ‘gaze,’ when used for the natural world, is deemed as one of reflection and admiration. It is used for long observations and pensive moments, at once as a question and a celebration. In art history, the gaze has come to mean observation in a sociopolitical context, in an art viewing experience designed around referential lenses. As such, this contrast makes for a word that truly encompasses the collaborative exhibition on view, as cross-culturally provocative as it is serene.
The curated labyrinth is meant to both challenge and delight the viewer with its sense of discovery. Each room features another of de Santillana’s glass pieces from her Moon and Bamboo series. In gold and silver leaf, they sync with the architectural fluidity of the Kondaya space.
De Santillana has maintained a long and fruitful relationship with Ippodo gallery, likening Japan to her ‘spiritual home’. As the only non-Japanese artist, she has been invited to showcase time and time again because of her philosophy on beauty. At home in Venice, she maintains Japanese architectural and aesthetic elements, continuously drawing inspiration in East-Meets-West artistry.

De Santillana’s works are offset by the Kondaya obi belts in extremely precious oxidized gold and silver leaves preserved for generations, complementing the metals in the glass. One splendid obi by Kondaya is made from peacock’s feathers, while another is inlaid with mother-of-pearl and jewels. The fabrics shimmer resplendently, stunning without overwhelming the viewer. Their craftsmanship is unbounded: In the case of the peacock-woven obi, it is said that even a skillful artisan is able to produce only one piece per lifetime.
Traditional weaving techniques in koishimaru silk are kept alive through innovation, incorporating new methodology and unconventional materials to push the boundaries of textile artisanship. Genbey Yamaguchi held his first solo exhibition of obi at Kondaya in 1985 using precious materials, and expanded expertise into kimono experimentation beginning in 1999. In 2016, five obi and two kimono fabrics were acquisitioned by Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

While Laura de Santillana is a highly contemporary artist, her practice comes from generations of glassmakers on the Venetian island of Murano, followed by personal exploration of art and design around the world. With exhibitions throughout Japan with Ippodo, as well as in Europe, the United States and Israel, her works are in 24 museum collections across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Brazil. Among them are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, with extensive press and publication mentions as well. She studied at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Ultimately, this collaborative exhibition exemplifies the values of Ippodo Gallery. Unprecedented craftmanship cultivated through generations of appreciation and studious reflection culminate in harmony, with an intimate viewing experience for globally literate aficionados. The synchronicity of art and design is unparalleled, and an important step in the exchange of art and understanding between worlds.

Moon : Tsuki wo koso …Kondaya Genbey x Laura de Santillana from Shoko Aono on Vimeo.

Laura de Santillana 6:49

For more information and images, please contact Shoko Aono or Brianne Kim
at T. +1.212.967.4899 or mail@ippodogallery.com

Please RSVP at mail@ippodogallery.com by September 7 for Press Viewing ( October 5, 2-6 PM )

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About the Artist
1955 Born in Venice
1975-77 She studies at School of Visual Arts, New York and works with Massimo Vignelli.
1975 She designs lamps and objects for the Venini Enterprises.
1979 First big travelling show at New Glass show in USA.
1989 First visit to India, which will become an annual pilgrimage.
1995 Starts collaboration with Simone Cenedese, which continues to this day.
1997 1998 Commissioned by firm of Japanese tea specialists to design a kaiseki cuisine range in glass, lacquered wood and silver. Extended sojourns in Kyoto. Works with Japanese lacquer master Suzuki Mutsumi designing tea ceremony ware.
1998 Begins to work with Barry Friedman in New York.
1999 Paris exhibition at Galerie L'Arc en Seine, where for the first time she exhibits what will become her signature flat forms.
2001-2002 Begins working in bronze and in wax at the Fonderia Brustolin, Verona
2009 First residency at Museum of Glass ( MoG), Tacoma, producing large - scale works exhibited at 53rd Venice Biennale.
2011 Exhibition at Musse des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
2013-2014 Begins new project in Czech Republic with Charlie Parriott, experimenting with new fusing techniques.

Public Colletions:
Museo Vetrario di Murano, Venice, Italy
The Corning Museum of Glass, New York, USA
The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, USA
Saint Louis Museum of Fine Arts, St Louis, MO, USA
Cooper-Hewitt national design Museum, NY, USA
Seattle Art Museum, Washington, USA
Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA
The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, CA, USA
Musse de Design et d' Arts Appliques Contemporains, Lausanne, Switzerland
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA, USA
Kunstmuseum im Ehrenhof, Dusseldorf, Germany
Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg, Germany
Ernsting Stiftung, Alter Hof Herding Museum, Coesfeld-Lette, Germany
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Neue Sammlung, Munich, Germany
IMA, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA
Smithsonian Institute, Renwick gallery, Washington, USA