VENICE.- Glasstress, an official exhibition of the 53rd Venice Biennale that celebrates the use of glass in contemporary art, will be held at both the historic Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (Campo Santo Stefano – San Marco, Venezia) and at the Scuola Grande Confraternita di San Teodoro, (San Marco, Venezia), from June 6 – November 22, 2009. The exhibition will be presented by Venice Projects, an organization dedicated to presenting the work of internationally recognized artists who work with glass. There will be a press preview on Thursday, June 4 from 11 am to 6 pm. The opening reception will be on Friday, June 5 at 6:00 pm. In addition, “Matter”, a symposium organized by Artist Rene Rietmeyer, will be held at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti during the Glasstress Press Preview on June 4 from 1 PM to 4 PM.
Glasstress will feature both specially commissioned new work and selected pieces by forty-five modern and contemporary artists, many of whom are working with glass for the first time. The exhibition will explore each artist’s unique approach to working with the glass, the technical limits inherent in the material, and the synthesis between the artist’s ideas and the glass master’s skills. Glasstress is organized by Murano-based art impresario Adriano in collaboration with Laura Mattioli Rossi and Rosa Barovier Mentasti. The exhibition is sponsored by The Mjellby Konstmuseum of Halmstad, Sweden in collaboration with Susan Scherman of Susan Scherman Fine Arts, San Francisco.
Glasstress represents Berengo’s dream of examining the expressive possibilities of glass by presenting a global survey and critical look at its use by modern and contemporary artists. The exhibition will showcase original and innovate work by artists, who traditionally work in other media, such as, Luciano Fabro, Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Kosuth, Kiki Smith, Fred Wilson and Tony Cragg. These artists were and are fascinated by the formal and conceptual possibilities of the material. In addition, there will be work by glass artists, such as Lino Tagliapietra, who have taken the forms and technical traditions of Murano glass production to new and exciting extremes. Dan Graham, who uses glass to create contemporary environments and installations, is also part of this important and historical presentation.
Glasstress is the link between the Venetian fine art glass movement of 1950s, Venice Projects and the 2009 Venice Biennale. As a young man, growing up in Venice, Berengo was aware that Peggy Guggenheim was fascinated by the artistic possibilities of glass – she felt that Venetian glass was too important to be used only for decorative purposes.
Guggenheim encouraged Kokoschka, Picasso, Braque, Chagall and Max Ernst to experiment with glass by working with Egidio Costantini (“Fucina Degli Angeli” – The Forge of Angels). He was the master who could help them express their artistic ideas using glass. Following in Costantini’s footsteps, Berengo started helping artists, many of whom have never worked with glass, discover the artistic possibilities of the material - many of these artists are in the exhibition.
Participating Artists – Glasstress: Josef Albers, Arman, Jean Arp, Barbara Bloom, Louise Bourgeois, Sergio Bovenga, Daniel Buren, Lawrence Carroll, Cèsar, Soyeon Cho, Tony Cragg, Marie Louise Ekman, Jan Fabre, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Francesco Gennari, Dan Graham, Richard Hamilton, Mona Hatoum, Hye Rim Lee, Charlotte Hodes, Mimmo Jodice, Marya Kazoun, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Raimund Kummer, Federica Marangoni, ORLAN, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Luca Pancrazzi, Anne Peabody, Giuseppe Penone, Anton Pevsner, Bettina Pousttchi, Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray, Rene Rietmeyer, Silvano Rubino, Sandro Sergi, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterbak, Lino Tagliapietra, Koen Vanmechelen, Fred Wilson, Kimiko Yoshida and Chen Zhen.