Dana Arbib’s Vegetable-Themed Murano Glass at TIWA Gallery Has Us In the Mood for Fall
When deciding on the first exhibition for his new TIWA Gallery location in Tribeca, Alex Tieghi-Walker instinctively turned to artist Dana Arbib, whose second collection of Murano glass — this time in the form of both lighting and vessels — were a perfect fit to activate the space, a former manufacturing workshop for electrical parts. Titled Vetro Orto, which translates from Italian as “the glass vegetable garden,” Arbib’s pieces are modeled on the forms of gourds, cabbages, and root vegetables — an ideal theme for fall.
Arbib, who appeared on our 2022 American Design Hot List, is a self-taught designer, and recently moved into glassware once she learned that her three-times-removed great uncle owned a furnace in Venice after migrating from Libya. In 2022, Tiwa Select presented Arbib’s inaugural collection Vetra Algo, which means “seaweed glass,” at Michael Bargo Gallery in New York. Her latest collection continues the exploration into patterns and shapes from the natural world, and pushes the capabilities of glass in unexpected ways.
Among the Vetro Orto designs, sconces appear to be sprouting fronds, or feature exaggerated vascular ridges that, in a couple of designs, also resemble hot dogs. The vessels look as if they’re growing roots, or have handles that wave and crinkle like leaf edges, or are covered in warts typical of gourds (which, TBH, I just learned are the result of excess sugar production). Green, orange, and yellow hues — ranging from subtle tints to bold pops — enliven the glass and mirror the drawing-room green color Tieghi-Walker selected for the window frames of the gallery.
On view from September 20 to October 13, Arbib’s pieces were shown amongst custom pieces made by spatial designer Currie Ritchie and vintage furniture contributed by the Queens-based gallery The Somerset House. Items from a 200-year span included designs by Alvar Aalto, Tucker Robbins, and a historic Biedermeier daybed, which all provided a counterpoint to the glossy sheen and warm glow of the glass items.