Since its opening, Galleria Michela Cattai has focused on the study, research and selection of works of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design by some of the most important artists and designers of the twentieth century and brought them together under one roof.

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© 2016 Galleria Michela Cattai


Ercole Barovier


After having accomplished his classical studies, Ercole Barovier became a member of the family’s glassworks, la Vetreria Artistica Barrovier & Co in 1919. In 1928 he became administrator along with his brother Nicolò, also taking on artistic direction. In the period prior to the First World War, the polychrome millefiori of the Barovier Artists were already widely recognised, and were exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia in 1913. Ercole Barovier inhierited the family style, guided by the strength of colouring and decoration. The works ofErcole Barovier in the 1920s were large murrine blown glass pieces (’24-’25) and also blown glass animals (’28-’30). In particular, at the XVII Biennale in 1930, Ercole Barovierpresented the surprising collection, Primavera, made in white glass and craquélé,with black edgings, which was exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in the same year. In the 1930s, il modus operandi of Ercole Barovier was very particular. His research was done directly in the furnace, with a glass master. It was formal and chromatic research which either used ‘impromtu’ insights and procedures, or used recreated classical techniques with the intention to create a new effect. All of this greatly impacted on the glass materials, which remained very rich, composed and elaborate. A repeated choice of Ercole Barovier was one of staining both large pieces and fragments of glass with heat, without the use of fusion. The results are unexpected colour and material effects. In terms of glass during the 1930s some of the glass works created include: CrepuscoloAutunno gemmatoLaguna gemmataMarina gemmata, and Rostrati. The artist presented at the XIX Biennale in 1934 with a collection which replicated the Novecento style. In 1942 La Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C was founded with S.A.I.A.R Ferro-Toso, and in this way Barovier & Toso was born.Ercole Barovier maintained his artistic direction until 1972. In the post war period Ercole Barovier proposed a series of ‘primitive’ glass works, which developed an asymmetric shape, created with stained glass. At the same time, he created more rational pieces, following the geometrical tastes of the time. At the Biennale in 1954 he presented:Aborigeni, a series inspired by archeological-rock motifs, made with stained glass in amber, purple and green. He brought Ambrati, Millefili and Cobalti to the Biennale in 1956. In the 1960s, Ercole Barovier was once again massively present at the Biennale in Venice where he exhibited Argo, Egeo and the group of glass works Graffito Diafano and Dorici (these last compositions were weaved sections of milky and aquamarine coloured glass). In 1942 he presented the works Caccia and Bivasi (blown glass works in yellow, pink and acquamarine); in 1964 Efeso, in 1966 the bowl and vase Sidereo (made of coloured rings of glass); in 1968 the groups DiamantatiAthenaCrepuscolo aurato. At the XXXV Biennale, Ercole Barovier exhibited the series of vases Rotellati, made of jagged pieces of yellow, blue and turquoise glass. Amongst his many international awards are: la Medaglia d’oro alle Triennali in Monza (‘30) and in Milan (‘33, ‘54), la Medaglia d’argento alla Triennale in Milan (‘57) and the Grand Prize alla Esposizione internazionale delle arti decorative in Paris (‘37), Compasso d’oro (‘56). The most important beng the two personal awards dedicated to Ercole Barovier, that of Murano in 1975 and of the Biennale in Venice in 1976. The glass works of Ercole Barovier are exhibited and preserved in numerous museums throughout the world: il Museo vetraio in Murano, la Louvre in Paris, Corning Museum of Glass in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf, Musée Curtius in Liege; Staatliche Akademie der bildende Künste in Stuttgart; Museum Haaretz in Tel Aviv.