sublime imperfections




Lorenzo Passi is an artist who interacts with glass in a very special way. His work is based on an intense enquiry on materials, stemming from the determination to restore their expressiveness and fluidity.

After an initial experience with Venetian glassworks furnaces, Lorenzo moved to Finland to further his learning process. There he acquired the skill of mastering the expressive and irrepressible power of glass, thereby entering into a creative symbiosis with its fluid nature. He then returned to Venice, where, thanks to the Finnish experience, he elected not to acquiesce to stereotypes of form and function, but to strive his utmost to overcome them. He realized that his interests did not lie in the direction of traditional production, but in composition. His intention was that of leading fluid matter to an undefined point, unplanned and not previously established. And, in pursuing this aim, Lorenzo and glass became accomplices. Like in a dance wherein one’s partner is a material substance, the creation of form proceeds from an entente between artist and matter itself. And this form is not liable to classification within conventional geometry or in the traditional figure of the container-vase. Lorenzo Passi finds his ideal of beauty in form imperfect. He worships multifaceted and not fully polished surfaces that allow him to distance himself from limiting contents and patterns.

His experience in Finland at the Nuutajärven Lasikoulu Glassworks School brought him to address glassblowing in a more personal way: “A harsh climate” – he says – “presses you to think about how nature may be stronger than you”. This awareness encouraged his wish to seek and experiment, to express the interplay of equilibriums. By grafting different materials together, he acknowledged the utmost power of glass, and by respecting its fragilities he converted it into form.

Through this creative process of matching different materials, in which glass is partnered with pieces of old metal, he sought, among the marks left by time, the imperfections which tell and carry a tale within themselves. And, by this process, he became aware that his enquiry was directed towards the rediscovery of memory: in those pieces of old metal, a narrative is found – his own narrative, dwelling within him, and breathed by him unto matter. By blowing glass into metal, Lorenzo makes two different materials explore one another. Glass flows spontaneously into the free space within the metal, wherefrom it flows outward, inevitably, and gets “caught in the game”. Thus the relationship between the two materials is born: its flavour is one of friction, encounters-and-clashes, anger – but at the same time sweetness, poetry, and melding.

Text by Magda Di Siena and Michela Codutti