September 7th – October 15th, 2019

From September 7th to October 15th, for the third edition of the Venice Glass Week, Caffè Florian produced the exhibition “Murano sottovuoto al Florian“, with art pieces by master glassblower Fabio Fornasier.

The artwork is the kind of piece Fornasier excels at – a chandelier. The artist’s incredible lighting fixtures are modern art sculptures that find their place in the tradition of Murano glass art. They are a combination of art and design and a beautiful display of complex spatial shapes. In mansions and public buildings all over the world, there makes its appearance the shining beauty of Murano glass.


Maestro Fornasier, himself the son of a master glassblower, always had a passion for glassmaking. Curvy lines, fragile touches turn this exquisite material into a tangible process of artistic thought. Fornasier developed the idea of “Murano sottovuoto” (literally vacuum-packed Murano) after he saw a Murano glass goblet – an entirely hand-made piece of great executional complexity – sold at an insultingly low price.

Fornasier wanted the goblet to win back its original value. He decontextualized it by putting back into the glass furnace. The goblet turned out slimmer, weaker, ready to be fixed in time in its current state – small imperfections and all, which make each piece unique. The chandelier is a homage to a centuries-old tradition. The refined artmaking presents, before our eyes, a new perspective on art and on Murano itself: flattened, compressed under a myriad problems and systemic fragility. Fabio Fornasier vacuum-sealed glass art to preserve it forever and show his unconditional love for it. His chandelier is a modern object of design, yet the product of ancestral wisdom.

The exhibition is curated by Stefano Stipitivich, Caffè Florian Art Director.


Fabio Fornasier was born in Venice, Italy on the 16th of August 1963. He learned glassmaking in his father Luigi’s glassworks where he demonstrated his talent for design and an innate ability to transform glass into awe-inspiring art chandeliers. He became a Master Glassmaker at a very young age, opened his own glassworks on the Venetian island of Murano and started creating refined antique and modern chandeliers that immediately stood out for their innovative design. Inquisitive by nature and drawn to different inspirations, he taught at many glass and design schools, such as the Royal College of Art in London, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington DC, the Abate Zanetti Glass School on Murano, and others in France and Denmark. An exacting aesthete and multi-faceted artist, he took the traditional Venetian artisan techniques, with which he had become intimately familiar, and pushed them to the limit, ultimately experimenting with audacious, innovative shapes. Awards and praise flooded in from early on in his career.