Look Closely Again And Again

Last week, I was very excited to see a larger version of appliques that I have in my home. They were shown in an auction catalogue and attributed to the influential Italian architect Tomasso Buzzi. Buzzi was friends and colleagues with Gio Ponti during the 1920’s and 1930’s. I’d bought my appliques, a single leafed pair, a dozen years ago from a dealer who knows Buzzi’s work well. She hadn’t said the sconces were by Buzzi when I bought them. My sense is that they are by Barovier but this attribution of Buzzi made me look into it further.

The auction catalog sited page 399 in the Marino Barovier book “Tomasso Buzzi at Venini” by Skira 2014 as it’s documentation that the appliques were legitimately by Buzzi. This large and detailed book regarding the work of Tomasso Buzzi accompanied the splendid Buzzi exhibit that year in Venice.

During the summer of  2014 I was in Venice, and I went to see the exhibit a couple of times. It was exquisite! Set at the renowned Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, it was a joy to behold. What Buzzi produced for Venini is amazing and I spent hours looking and studying. Somewhat minimalist, perfectly scaled, exquisitely colored, finely made, these pieces are remarkable examples of Murano glass. While I hoped my appliques were by Buzzi, my gut told me that the auction house attribution wasn’t right. While I love my little appliques I don’t see the hand of Buzzi in them. Still the question needed further investigation. Opening my copy of the exhibition catalogue to page 399 here is what I saw. Continue reading