The Design & Craftsmanship Foundation, the most recent Portuguese institution to honour and promote the excellence of craftsmanship, is proud to announce the participation at the Homo Faber event, the first major cultural exhibition dedicated to European craftsmanship, organized by Michelangelo Foundation, a Swiss-based entity, next 14-30 September in Venice, at Fondazione Giorgio Cini.
Two curated pieces will be representing the best of the country’s legacy: the filigree delicate jewelry technique with the Filigree mirror and the renowned hand-painted tiles, called “azulejos”, with the contemporary piece Heritage sideboard. Both pieces, from the Limited Collection by Boca do Lobo, will be exhibited at the space Best of European Craftsmanship, at Sala degli Arazzi, where visitors would be able to wander through exquisite objects specifically sourced for the event and observe the skill of master artisans in real time and at close quarters.
The exhibition aims to put fine craftsmanship on the global map and increase recognition and visibility for master artisans, by bringing together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewelry to bespoke bicycles, from the rarest artisanal techniques to some of the most iconic examples of the finest European workmanship. Created by a hand-picked team of world-class designers, curators, and architects, the exhibition stretches over a number of magnificent spaces throughout the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, an international cultural center which lays claim to most of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.
Homo Faber will adorn many varied spaces, including a number of historically and architecturally significant buildings, and will fill its galleries, libraries, cloisters and even its swimming pool with exquisite pieces, innovative installations and artisans creating work on site in full view. Taking up nearly 4,000 square metres, this exhibition will be the largest ever held at the Fondazione and will offer the public the opportunity to explore a range of spaces not generally open to them. Artisans will be present throughout the exhibition, giving visitors the opportunity to observe first-hand their skilled work in real time. An immersive experience which visitors will be able to virtually enter the ateliers of the masters, to observe first-hand their skilled work in real time and to live in the world of fine craftsmanship, a world that relies on the connection: connecting the hand, head and heart to create authentic works of lasting value.
“We chose Venice for this exhibition not only because it is a bastion of culture and a place of unequaled beauty,” Franco Cologni, Co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation explains, “but also because Venice is today and has always been a European hub for exchange and connection internationally.” Scheduled to overlap with Venice’s acclaimed Biennale of Architecture, Homo Faber will be an important complementary offering for the world’s tastemakers and influencers.
“Homo Faber is an expression that was first coined during the Renaissance and it captures and celebrates the infinite creativity of human beings,” Johann Rupert, Co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation, says. “The exhibit will provide a panoramic view of European fine craftsmanship but it will nevertheless have a singular undercurrent: what human beings can do better than machines.”
The Homo Faber team, which includes names such as Michele de Lucchi, Stefano Boeri, India Mahdavi, Judith Clark, Jean Blanchaert and Stefano Micelli, has come together to imbue the exhibit with untold imagination and energy. Also collaborating with the Michelangelo Foundation on this undertaking are partner organizations that share its vision including the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, the Triennale Design Museum, and the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art. Homo Faber is fuelled by an ardent belief in the power and value of real human engagement. As such, the exhibition is intended as an immersive experience – visitors will be able to speak to artisans, virtually enter the ateliers of the masters, observe conservators at work and truly immerse themselves in the world of fine craftsmanship, a world that relies on connection: connecting the hand, head and heart to create authentic works of lasting value.
ARTS & MÉTIERS FROM PORTUGAL
The Filigree Mirror resorts to one of the oldest jewelry making techniques known. Completely handcrafted, with each brass cord fitted with precision, the Filigree Mirror flourishes in a shape traditional to Portuguese culture and art. A true work of art, this luxurious mirror plays tribute to Boca do Lobo’s core values heritage and craftsmanship. The Filigree mirror’s structure is made from brass cords, gilded in 18k gold. It features a brass sheet which is hand hammered to achieve its concave shape.
ART & CRAFT: FILIGREE
A jewelry technique used to solder tiny beads and twisted threads. Filigree is the most delicate technique used to work precious metals, usually of gold and silver. It is an age-old and detailed jewelry expression in which skilled artisans painstakingly solder tiny beads and twisted threads to create striking artistic motifs, suggesting often an exquisite and intricate lace-like pattern.
ARTISAN: Mr. RUI PINTO
Rui is a natural-born artisan, proving 16 Years of jewelry design making, today mastering several jewelry techniques, predominantly the delicate filigree. Trained in the North of Portugal, his art represents a fine narrative in a new generation of artists. The quest of expressing a personal artistic path, as well as to honor its country history and traditions. Rui emphasizes it’s creative expression and design has the most essential to lead to Fine Art. An artisan driving high value to its jewelry concepts, perceived has equivalent to the preciousness of its materials.
Hand-painted-tiles have gained a privileged place in architecture throughout the centuries. Portugal has adopted them like no other country has and in order to honor the Portuguese hand-painted tiles, Boca do Lobo created Heritage Sideboard. This piece presents a different number of layers, where each one tells a different story. A sideboard lined with hand-painted tiles. In its interior, there is one door and four drawers fully lined with gold leaf. Contains two shelves made in bronze glass.
ART & CRAFT: AZULEJARIA – Hand Painted Tiles
Being one of the most representative art forms of the Portuguese culture, the hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition with hundreds of years, and it often portrays scenes from our history or its fabulous sights. The majority of tiles are decorated with glazed colorful designs showing Moorish motifs which have curvilinear, lacelike and looping designs, or even have geometric or floral schemes.
ARTISAN: Mr. AMÍLCAR FERREIRA
Painter of tiles since 1985, he was trained in the section of panels of the renowned Ceramics House Aleluia, in Aveiro, Portugal. He is considered today one of the most highly specialized painter, having reached the leading position until its departure in 1996. At that time, it decided to create its own atelier, maintaining the quality standards of the traditional Portuguese tile, innovating and creating new aesthetic concepts.
HOMO FABER EXPERIENCE
“We are thrilled to announce the participation of these outstanding professionals who have accepted to join us in the creation of Homo Faber,” Alberto Cavalli, the Michelangelo Foundation’s Executive Director for Culture and Craftsmanship, says. “Their involvement is a tribute to master artisans everywhere. Although the masters so often go unrecognized, they are actually a cornerstone and a true source of inspiration for so many designers, architects and curators.”
A number of distinct environments will come together to create the Homo Faber experience, each one conceived for a specific space within the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. Here are some highlights of a journey through the exhibition:
Revealing L’Intelligence de la Main – Sala del Chiostro dei Cipressi
Visitors will discover the story of the Liliane Bettencourt Prize pour l’intelligence de la main and its many talented recipients. In less than 20 years, this prize awarded by the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation has established itself as an international hallmark and the ultimate accolade for France’s globally-celebrated “artisans d’art” who display exceptional savoir-faire. Now presented to more than 100 laureates, this visionary award’s history is told through the exceptional skill of curator Alain Lardet.
Exclusively Created for Homo Faber – Cenacolo Palladiano
Curated and designed by Michele De Lucchi, Palladio’s magnificent hall will play host to a series of specially-commissioned works created by pairing designers with artisans. Nine European designers selected by De Lucchi are collaborating with master craftsmen to produce original pieces, each one an interpretation of traditional skills through contemporary forms. Marquetry, mosaic, woodwork, and blown glass will be just some of the beauty on display.
A glimpse into the workshops of Venice and the Veneto Region – Chiostro dei Cipressi
Susanna Pozzoli’s specially-commissioned artistic photographs of local and regional artisans at work will be on display in this peaceful, contemplative space. Evoking the atmosphere of the atelier and pulling the visitor into the world of the workshops tucked away in Venice and the Veneto region, the images will come to life on large textile hangings placed at intervals around the Renaissance cloister designed by Giovanni and Andrea Buora.
Discovery of Rare Métiers – Sala delle Fotografie
A surprising virtual and augmented reality experience uses the most modern of technologies to gain a new insight into some of Europe’s oldest skills. VR will bring visitors into the small corners of workshops that are usually hidden – allowing them to see rare objects in the process of their creation. Here they will witness amazing skills which are practiced with passion by a small number of artisans whose work can be likened to precious gems: difficult to find and of immeasurable value.
Icons of XX & XXI Centuries – Biblioteca del Longhena
In the seventeenth century Longhena library, with its original Franz Pauc-carved wooden bookcases, a fresh look at the history of European design will be traced through carefully selected vases from the most important European collections. The vases will grace the library’s impressive oak tables in a light, elegant display and will present the evolution of techniques, know-how, and materials.
Encounter the Best of European Craftsmanship – Sala degli Arazzi
Bringing together two acclaimed figures in the world of design, Jean Blanchaert and Stefano Boeri, one of the venue’s largest halls will become a journey into the heart of Europe’s finest artisanship, complete with master artist-artisans at work. Visitors wandering through this dream-like space will be able to appreciate the exquisite objects specifically sourced for the event and observe the skill of master artisans in real time and at close quarters.
Meet The Artisans of Luxury – Sale del Convitto
Some 20 luxury houses will present in-house skill as the Sale del Convitto is transformed into a series of exclusive workshops. From leatherwork to embroidery, each maison will demonstrate a specific skill closely linked to their history and ethos. Master artisans will be present throughout the exhibition allowing visitors rare access to some of the most fascinating techniques that go into making iconic and treasured products from the world of luxury.
Be transported by Craftmanship in Motion – Padiglione delle Capriate
Highlighting the contribution that expert artisans make to the most luxurious vehicles in existence, bespoke transport design from a motorbike to a helicopter will be in pole position in the Padiglione delle Capriate. Visitors can watch the world’s best Ferrari restorer at work or see high-end British bespoke bicycles being made, as traditional skills create contemporary velocity.
Fashion’s Salute to Craftmanship – Ex Piscina Gandini
Curated and designed by Judith Clark, an exploration of fashion’s relationship to craftsmanship is installed in the Fondazione’s 1960s-designed swimming pool. Carving, molding, weaving, pleating and knitting are some of the techniques that will be considered in relation to their effect on silhouettes and materials –, particularly wood, straw and calico. A decking motif will provide a dramatic setting which invites visitors to consider fashion in an entirely new way.
Mastery of Restoring Art – Sala del Piccolo Teatro
A team of conservators from Milan’s Open Care will be restoring traditional and contemporary artworks on site throughout the exhibition in a space that will be transformed into a workshop specially made for viewing. Visitors will have an opportunity to witness the careful, intricate processes that go into preserving masterpieces of all kinds and to understand how priceless works of art are preserved and protected for the enjoyment of future generations.
Architecture and Decoration – Sala Carnelutti
Three large ‘follies’ created by India Mahdavi, in collaboration with master artisans, will dominate the Sala Carnelutti. Upon entering each of the structures, a colorful interior will be revealed, each one showcasing different techniques and materials – from marquetry and lacquer work to silk and rattan. The installation will focus on the value and contemporary potential of craftsmanship for interior design.