Volto (Face)

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Object Name: 
Volto (Face)
Accession Number: 
Overall H: about 39 cm, W: about 24 cm, D: about 15 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Mark Tobey was one of the many artists—including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Lucio Fontana—who made designs in glass for Egidio Costantini’s Fucina degli Angeli (Forge of the angels). Originally called the Centro Studio Pittori Arte del Vetro, the company was founded as a design studio. The production of the work took place at several Murano companies, where master glass sculptors and blowers, such as Aldo Bon, Loredano Rosin, and Mario Dei Rossi, were employed. It was Jean Cocteau, another artist who collaborated with Costantini, who gave the studio its name, Fucina degli Angeli. Tobey was an internationally recognized painter who moved in 1923 from his family home in Wisconsin to Seattle. He was a convert to the Baha’i faith, and his art was influenced by its teachings, as well as by East Asian painting and Chinese and Arabic calligraphy. In the 1940s and 1950s, Tobey’s work helped to draw attention to the so-called Northwest School, which also included the painters Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, and Morris Graves. Tobey was specifically interested in the integration of object and space in a “unified field image.” His best-known paintings are those in which abstract fields of color, made with thousands of brush-strokes, are entirely covered with white abstracted “writing.” Tobey met Costantini in the early 1960s, and they made their first heads in 1966. Like many of Tobey’s heads, this sculpture is simply titled: Volto (Face). Here, Tobey and Costantini attempt to translate the color and calligraphic line found in Tobey’s paintings into a three-dimensional glass form. Signed: “M Tobey - E Costantini / 1/1 - © 1974 / FUCINA ANGELI / VENEZIA.” For more information, see Davira S. Taragin, ed., Contemporary Crafts and the Saxe Collection, Toledo, Ohio: The Toledo Museum of Art in association with Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1993, pp. 80 and 208; Palazzetto Euche¬rio Sanvitale, L’immortale: I capolavori di Egidio Costantini della Fucina degli angeli, Parma, Italy: Bormioli Rocco, 1984; and Carlo della Corte, Peggy Guggenheim, and Alberto Cavallari, Fucina degli angeli Venezia, Bologna: Fotometalgrafica, 1975.
Blutstein Brondino Fine Art, Source
M Tobey - E Costantini / 1/1 - © 1974 / FUCINA ANGELI / VENEZIA
Scratched on base
Primary Description: 
Colorless, transparent blue, opaque and translucent red, opaque white, opaque yellow, and opaque green glass and glass powders; hot-worked (sculpted a massiccio), gold foil. Solid abstract glass sculpture of primarily colorless glass with thick applied draping threads of colored glass, applied glass powders, and applied gold foil.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 59; BIB# AI87745
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 33) (2012) illustrated, p. 121, bottom; BIB# AI87134