Mario Seguso

Mario Seguso

The artist

70 years creating art in Glass

Mario Seguso, born in 1929 in Murano (Venice-Italy), descends from one of the most antique and famous families related to production of glass in the Murano Island, since before the year 1300. After conclusion of primary school in Murano, in the year of 1941, Mario starts his studies at the “Regio Istituto d’Arte”, in Venice, dedicating himself to the art of “Glass Engraving” under the artistic ministration of teachers Guido Balsamo Stella and Carlo Scarpa, and technicians Eliseo Piano and Franz Pelzel. In the same period, Mario also attends classes from other artistic modalities, such as Designs and Forms to be executed in Glass Factories. Furthermore, he attends all “Glittica” classes, on weapon engraving, coat of arms and figures over hard and semi-precious stones.

Simultaneously with the courses, he also participates in the Art Institute. During the years of 1947-1948 Mario does an internship at the S.A.L.I.R.’s Workshop, in Murano, where he starts to improve the techniques he learned and executes his first professional works.

From 1949 until May 1954, he opens his own workshop in Murano, where he executes engravings to the most well-known companies, specialized in commerce of artistic glass, such as Salviati, Gino Cenedese, Fischer, providing not only customized exportation pieces, but also cups and trophies to important events and competitions.

Mario takes part, during this period, on many exhibitions, foremost among them the “Galeria Bevilacqua La Masa” which took place in Venice. In 1953 he completes, with Oscar Kokoschka’s drawings, an engraving to “Mostra Internazionale” promoted by the “Modern Glass Center on Murano”.

In 1954, Cristais Prado S.A., whose headquarters were in São Paulo, invited Mario to move to Brazil. Mario engraves a series of pieces (cups and vases) presented at the Big Commemorative Exhibition in Ibirapuera Park for the 400 Years celebration of the founding of São Paulo .

From 1954 until 1956 while working at Cristais Prado S.A. Mario creates many works, including some which were exhibited in the “World Exhibition of Brussels”, in Belgium, and other that were destined to American and Canadian customers. From this period the big allegorical bowl is engraved as a gift to the President of the Republic of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira.

In 1956 Mario resigns from the Cristais Prado to start his own workshop, where he works on his own and gives assistance to a glass factory from São Paulo, as a designer.

He dedicates himself to new researches about the engraving technique, replacing part of his traditional knowledge for an approach that embraces the Brazilian culture, leading to more modern interpretation of this antique art, transmitted by fast and decisive engravings. Mario develops during this period the style which would be the start point for all his future artistic productions.

In order to have quantity and quality of pieces necessary to engrave, in the year of 1965, with two business partners both of traditional families related to the glass in Murano – Vittorio Ferro e Piero Toso – they founded “Cristaleria Artística Cá d’Oro”, in the city of Poços de Caldas. Mario designs most of the pieces produced with a modern and superb style. A few years after the foundation of the company, Vittorio decides to move back to Italy and ten years later Piero retires.

Inside the factory, Mario creates the “Fire and Art Workshop”, to continue his research on new forms and effects. With absolute mastery of the refined technique of design and fabrication, combined with all the years of absorption of culture, flora, fauna, light and other Brazilian wonders, Mario reveals his hallmark always creating new pieces and sculptures. His artistic work is now widely recognized in Brazil and abroad.

Work Purpose

Continuously researching new techniques and effects, Mario Seguso develops, for many years, his work in the “Fire and Art Workshop” founded by him.

Inside the European Philosophy, in which he was educated, Mario Seguso eludes the improvisations and fads, understanding that the created object should, by itself, assert and be judged after a serious analysis about the technique and artistic characteristics in the object contained. This analysis can only be understood by someone who has a solid knowledge, not only in the artistic part, but also about the limitations and mysteries the glass offers.

Many years of experimentation were necessary to accomplish the metamorphosis initiated since the arrival of Mario in Brazil. In 1992, after having reached a consciously mature stage, Mario decides to present his works developed during years of research and experience in the heat of the furnace, manipulating and shaping the most noble and demanding material.

The slow abandonment of the links which connected Mario with the European patterns and traditions left space to the changes that occurred through the intensification of the intimacy and participation in the Brazilian life, culture and traditions. The techniques brought from Europe and the fidelity to the tradition of the Seguso family, connected for many centuries with the glass and art, are the most important virtues preserved and respect in this long process.

The delay to present his unique and signed works to the public and critics was exclusively due to the necessity of a period of time in which Mario acquired the assurance of presenting the idealized and shaped works, which really represents products of the Brazilian land and culture. Thus initiating, in the artistic glass sector, the disengagement of models from abroad, to start his own school and style.

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