GLASSTRESS 2022: State of Mind at Fondazione Berengo Art Space

Art Spiel Photo Story

A close-up of a drop of water

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Jimmie Durham, Untitled (detail), 2020- Photo credit Francesco Allegretto, Courtesy of the artist’s estate (6)

Coinciding with the 59th Venice Biennale, the seventh edition of Glasstress, running from 3 of June to 27 of November 2022 in Venice, features a group of leading contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America and Africa in an ambitious exhibition who explore the infinite creative possibilities of glass. The artworks will be exhibited at the Fondazione Berengo Art Space in Murano, an old abandoned furnace that was transformed into a unique exhibition space a few years ago. This extensive group show, curated by Adriano Berengo and Koen Vanmechelen with the contribution of Ludovico Pratesi, channels diverse contemporary art through the ancient art of Murano glassblowing, aiming to search for new contemporary visual vocabulary in glass art.

Co-curator Koen Vanmechelen describes the theme that runs through the exhibition as the fragility of life, exploring the possibilities for the future. “The works are shown in the birthplace of glass, an ancient furnace, a landscape that reveals how fragile these times are, particularly for the human mind. Everything can be broken, yet all can be restored. Destruction also creates opportunities for reconstruction.” Vanmechelen point out for instance, a glass chair on which you can sit or you can be injured, a chandelier surrounded by bees who risk being burnt like Icarus—Only in transparency can one discover the new generation. Among the artworks exhibited are several collaborations with artists who have already worked with Berengo Studio and featured in past editions of Glasstress such as Jimmie Durham, Tony Cragg, Monira Al Qadiri and Thomas Schütte, along with works by a number of artists participating for the first time, including Vanessa Beecroft, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Paloma Varga Weisz and eL Seed.

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Laure Prouvost, Trapped by Your Light, 2021. Photo credit Francesco Allegretto, Courtesy of the artist and Berengo Studio

Sibylle Peretti, Snow Child III (detail), 2019. Photo credit Cameron Wood. Courtesy of the artist and Heller Gallery, New York

Marya Kazoun’s installation, Still Life, pushes the viewer to reflect on nature and life—what could happen if climate change is not reversed? It evokes a segment of post human glacial environment where nature has an order and a rhythm just beneath what we most see on the surface. It is fragile but it is also tenacious and it reminds us of the delicate balance that makes it so resilient.

Black Waterfall by Anne Peabody is an image of a secluded cascade the artist visited while hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Months later, after downed powerlines near the site sparked one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in the Eastern United States, Peabody reimagined the scene. Her work explores the consequences of human effect on the environment.

Marya Kazoun, Still Life, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Berengo Studio

Anne Peabody, Black Waterfall, 2017. Photo Credit Angela Vasquez. Courtesy of the artist and Berengo Studio

Glasstress–State of mind also offers visitors the opportunity to watch the Murano master glassblowers at work in the adjacent glassblowing studio, a thousand-year-old art that the Fondazione Berengo, promoter of the initiative, is committed to defending, conserving and revitalising precisely through the synergies put in place with contemporary artists. “Glass has always had a special significance for Murano, and for the occasion of the United Nations’ Year of Glass we are immensely proud to highlight how the limitless creative capacities of this great material are continuing to uncover new unchartered ground,” says Adriano Berengo, President of Berengo Studio and Fondazione Berengo.

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Monira Al Qadiri, Benzene 3, 2022. Photo credit Francesco Allegretto. Courtesy of the artist and Berengo Studio

GLASSTRESS is a project by Adriano Berengo dedicated to promoting new connections between contemporary art and glass. Beginning with its debut in 2009 as a collateral event of the Venice Biennale, over the years GLASSTRESS has attracted dozens of internationally renowned artists and designers to the traditional craft of Murano glassblowing, who have tried their hand at creating evocative and innovative works in glass with the support of Berengo Studio’s glass masters. GLASSTRESS exhibitions have been presented in major museums and institutions around the world, including the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, the London College of Fashion and The Wallace Collection in London, the Riga Bourse Art Museum in Riga, the Millesgården Museum in Stockholm, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, and the Beirut Exhibition Center (BEC) in Beirut.

New Artists: Maria Thereza Alves (Brazil), Vanessa Beecroft (Italy), María Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba), Judy Chicago (United States), Chiara Dynys (Italy), eL Seed (France), Endless (Great Britain), (Leandro Erlich (Argentina), Ryan Gander (Great Britain), Alexander Evgenievich Ponomarev (Russia), Laurent Reypens (Belgium), Sibylle Peretti (Germany), Enrico Ruggeri (Italia), Liam Scully (Great Britain), Paloma Varga Weisz (Germany), Osman Yousefzada (Great Britain).

Returning Artists: Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Tony Cragg (Great Britain), Jimmie Durham (United States), Jan Fabre (Belgium), Josepha Gasch-Muche (Germany), Kendell Geers (South Africa), Marya Kazoun (Lebanon/Canada), Brigitte Kowanz (Austria), Karen LaMonte (United States), Tomáš Libertíny (Slovak Republic), Massimo Lunardon (Italy), Federica Marangoni (Italy), Prune Nourry (France), Anne Peabody (United States), Jaume Plensa (Spain), Laure Prouvost (France), Thomas Schütte (Germany), Sean Scully (United States), Lino Tagliapietra (Italy), Tim Tate (United States), Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium), Rose Wylie (Great Britain), Erwin Wurm (Austria).

The exhibition is curated by Adriano Berengo and Koen Vanmechelen, with the contribution of Ludovico Pratesi.

GLASSTRESS 2022: State of Mind at Fondazione Berengo Art Space 03.06.2022 – 27.11.2022 at FONDAZIONE BERENGO ART SPACE Campiello della Pescheria 4, Murano (VE) Curated by: Adriano Berengo and Koen Vanmechelen, with the contribution of Ludovico Pratesi. Opening: Friday 3 June 2022, 18.00