The architect and the craftsman; thought and material; Japan and Italy.

Contrasts meet and opposites attract in a work like the one created by Tadao Ando for Venini: an object-sculpture-architecture composed of three monumental vases (ten kilos each) made to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the prestigious Murano-based brand.

The work – called Ando, like its author – was presented at the end of May in Venice, at Punta della Dogana, the exhibition space designed by the Japanese architect, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1995 (he also designed the exhibition facilities at Palazzo Grassi). Venini, with this choice, underlines its history of relations with great creative talents. Thanks to a legacy of fine craftsmanship and technical variations using glass at the service of architects, artists and designers, to give timeliness (and a future) to the art of glassmaking in Murano. Tadao Ando, the master of pure geometry, a self-taught phenomenon and icon of contemporary architecture, has approached Venini for the first time with a series, a triptych of identical vases based on the form of the isosceles triangle: the triangle at the base and that at the mouth of the vase have equal measurements, but in a specular position, generating a torsion of the lateral walls. A daring work in which the triangular form creates the object in a succession of projections. Also an operative challenge, met by the master craftsmen of Venini, requiring great expertise, starting with the size (the vases have a height of 56.5 cm) and the weight; then for the form, the colors and grinding, all variants of the endless store of techniques of the Murano-based firm. Three, the perfect number, recurs constantly in the concept, from the form to the composition of the object, to the numbers of its production: Ando is a limited edition of 90 pieces, with three variants; 30 pieces in crystal tone, 30 in aquamarine, 30 in red. The three vases have three different grinding variations: Rosetta (surface geometries that softly shape the effect of the light), Ghiaccio (clearer facets, like ice) and Velata (a satin finish obtained with abrasive belts). There are nine artist’s trials in individual colors and techniques, personally selected by Tadao Ando: the triptychs of the artist’s trials associate green with crystal, transparent gray with tea color, green with sapphire. They will be auctioned by the end of the year, and the proceeds will contribute to the reconstruction of a facility for children in Japan (Ando is no stranger to this type of initiative: the 100,000 dollars of the Pritzker Price were donated to orphans of the Kobe earthquake).