Atarassia: the first solo exhibition of Lilla Tabasso in Venice

From April 10th to May 15th 2021 the art gallery Caterina Tognon in Venice, Italy explores the new artworks of the artist Lilla Tabasso, biologist and designer, working with Murano glass and using the ancient techniques of glass-blowing and lampworking. Taking inspiration from the didactic poem De Rerum Natura (On the nature of things, 1st century BC) by Titus Lucretius Caro, Lilla Tabasso presents her new works created between 2019 and 2021. In De Rerum Natura, the Latin author Lucretius is the spokesman for the epicurean doctrine, taking on the task of providing men with the tools aimed at freeing themselves from passions and sufferings that cloud earthly serenity, until the achievement of Atarassia: perfect peace of the soul. This condition, hoped for by Lucretius, is highly evident in Lilla Tabasso’s work and, consequently, constitutes the fil rouge for this first solo exhibition in the gallery.

The artist pursues the goal of Atarassia not by subtraction, avoiding the suffering inherent in the fragile and perishable human condition, but by addition: opaque and withered agapanthus, and baskets of swollen flowers, eager to show all their fragrant freshness; drooping and burnished tulips, and fleshy flowering peonies; a cascade of cherry blossoms on which an expired sparrow rests, and concrete walls from which the strength of Nature causes the delicate but stubborn stems of muscari to blossom.
Decay and splendor, autumn and spring, shadow and light, death and life, linked to each other in an infinite cycle. In perfect Mono no aware style – the Japanese aesthetic concept of the tendency to perceive a nostalgic feeling in the fleeting and passing beauty of nature and human life –, the hyper-realistic floral compositions by Lilla Tabasso highlight all the contradictions, imperfections and fears of the human being, emphasized and at the same time annihilated in the creation of positive elements of balance, designed for each single composition. A harmonious balance is thus formed, where the achievement of Atarassia is embodied in delicate and ephemeral creations, molded into glass – the symbol of fragility par excellence.
The artist, devoted herself with passion to glassmaking, despite not having any familiarity with this specific art, but irremediably attracted by the vitreous matter, decided to devote herself to it, discovering the ancient and noble art of lampwork. It is a working technique that uses colored glass rods produced in Murano furnaces, melted with a high flame and amalgamated to obtain the chosen color, then hot modeled with pliers, shears and small blow pipes.
Looking at the extraordinary glass artifacts of the great Bohemian Masters of the nineteenth century, such as Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, it took more than ten years for Tabasso to acquire her current executive capacity. Thanks to the fruitful relationship with the Venetian gallery Caterina Tognon dating back in 2017, Lilla has increasingly developed a personal creative way, showing through her works a sensitive soul and an extremely melancholic character, pessimistic but without exasperation, full of shade but still mitigated by strong flashes of brightness.


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