Ai Weiwei in the Berengo Studio Furnace. 2016
Photo Marco Berengo



11 May 2017through 26 November 2017

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Organised by Fondazione Berengo
Palazzo Franchetti | San Marco 2847, Venice
Berengo Exhibition Space | Campiello della Pescheria, Murano
Returning to Venice for the 57th Biennale di Venezia, GLASSTRESS brings together over 25 leading contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China in the most ambitious exhibition of glass works to date. Conceived by Fondazione Berengo, the project will take place in two exceptional historic locations: Palazzo Franchetti in Venice and a converted furnace in Murano.
Since its debut as a collateral event of the Biennale di Venezia in 2009, GLASSTRESS has revived the traditional craft of Murano glassblowing by forging new alliances with internationally renowned artists and designers and has since become an unparalleled platform showcasing ground-breaking new works in glass.
The 2017 edition of GLASSTRESS presents an impressive line-up of established artists and emerging talents including Ai Weiwei, Paul McCarthy, Ugo Rondinone, Alicja Kwade, Jan Fabre, Thomas Schütte, and Laure Prouvost. With little or no prior experience working with glass, these artists have embraced the challenge of creating extraordinary works in this very delicate medium in collaboration with Muranese artisans. The remarkable output of this unusual encounter defies the stereotypes associated with this ancient craft, ultimately pushing the boundaries of both contemporary art and glass.
GLASSTRESS 2017 is curated by Dimitry Ozerkov (Director of the Hermitage 20/21 Project for Contemporary Art at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg), Herwig Kempinger (President of Secession, Association of Visual Artists, Vienna) and Adriano Berengo (President of Fondazione Berengo and founder of GLASSTRESS, Venice), with the consultancy of Clare Phyllis Davies (Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
Major highlights this year include the participation of Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen who will produce a spectacular installation exploring recycling and sustainability in the gardens of Palazzo Franchetti supported by ECO-oh!. The artists representing the Austrian Pavilion, Brigitte Kowanz and Erwin Wurm, will also experiment with glass and create striking installations at Palazzo Franchetti, while in Murano, French artist Loris Gréaud makes his GLASSTRESS debut, bringing an abandoned glass furnace back to life with his immersive installation The Unplayed Notes Factory.
New Artists
Ai Weiwei (China), Charles Avery (UK), Dike Blair (USA), Paul McCarthy (USA), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Loris Gréaud (France), Halim Al-Karim (Iraq), Brigitte Kowanz (Austria), Karen LaMonte (USA), Laure Prouvost (France), Monira Al-Qadiri (Kuwait), Ugo Rondinone (Switzerland), Sarah Sze (USA), Sabine Wiedenhofer (Austria), Dustin Yellin (USA).
Returning Artists
Monica Bonvicini (Italy), Tony Cragg (UK), Erin Dickson (UK), Jan Fabre (Belgium), Josepha Gasch-Muche (Germany), Shirazeh Houshiary (Iran), Alicja Kwade (Poland), Vik Muniz (Brazil), Jaume Plensa (Spain), Thomas Schütte (Germany), Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium), Erwin Wurm (Austria).
GLASSTRESS was launched in 2009 by Adriano Berengo as an official collateral event of the 53rd Biennale di Venezia. The project has been then accredited for four consecutive editions and it is today the world’s leading showcase for the collaborative work of contemporary artists and designers with Berengo Studio’s Muranese glass masters.
Organized by Fondazione Berengo, GLASSTRESS exhibitions have been presented in prominent museums and institutions worldwide including the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, the London College of Fashion and The Wallace Collection in London, the Art Museum Riga Bourse in Riga, Millesgården Museum in Stockholm, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, the Beirut Exhibition Center (BEC) in Beirut.
Fondazione Berengo was founded by Adriano Berengo in 2014 as a cultural institution consolidating and strengthening his mission of marrying the Muranese glass-making tradition with contemporary art. The Foundation seeks to achieve this goal through educational initiatives and an interdisciplinary program of exhibitions and special projects in collaboration with internationally acclaimed artists, designers, and architects.

See the Article> Exposition in Glass is more!

Adriano Berengo was born in Venice in 1947 and lives between Venice and Beirut. He holds a Foreign Languages degree from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice) and a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York.
Adriano Berengo is the visionary behind Fondazione Berengo, GLASSTRESS and the glass factory Berengo Studio 1989. Following the footsteps of Egidio Costantini and Peggy Guggenheim who have introduced outstanding artists such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall to Murano glass, he has been championing the innovative use of glass as a medium in contemporary art for almost 30 years by inviting more than 300 artists in his studio.

Palazzo Franchetti
San Marco, 2842, 30124 Venice, Italy
+ 44(0)20-7724 2739

Josepha Gasch-Muche
glass, wood, aluminum frame, size 200x200x18 cm.
Photo - Carsten Janssen
Courtesy of Heller Gallery

Brigitte Kowanz in the Berengo Studio Furnace. 2017
Photo - Oliver Haas 

Karen LaMonte
Reclining Nocturne 1 (detail)
22 x 53 x 32 inches. Cast glass.
© Karen LaMonte
Photo - Martin Polak
Courtesy Austin Art Projects

Ai Weiwei

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