Catalogue GlassFever -Hedendaagse Kunst in Glas


Angela van der Burght

Then suddenly you’re in the middle of a discussion, again, of when something is Art.
Returning home from the opening of GlassFever at Dordtyart in Dordrecht, we watched to a broadcast Ondersteboven - Nederland in de jaren 60 / Upside down-Netherlands in the 60s: Art in the 1960s, no longer was something for the fortunate few. On the contrary, contemporary art is everywhere and for everyone. Industrial techniques, like the silk-screen or serigraph helped established art’s broad appeal. The question remains: what is art? Turns out a lot was declared art in the 1960s. A soda-pop bottle emptied into the North sea at Petten, the 'speespakken ' of the Maastricht Luuksbeweging, but also the photography and fashion in the magazine Avenue. In this episode, Wim T. Schippers explained how his actions provoked both governors within the arts and the public. See the video>
and De Pindakaasvloer van Victor Vroegindeweij>

Posted 3 May 2016

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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
So what is new?
Reading the well made GlassFever catalogue with good photos whose contributors feature, among others, Adriano Berengo, John Sillevis (conservator Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) and Koen Vanderstukken (Professor, studio head of the glass department at Sheridan College, Toronto, Ontario (CAN)) on Murano, the history of glass and its future and the impact of Berengo Studio and, the on-going discussion of when glass art is Art, I couldn’t escape to the idea that now the battle has erupted on who can push forward the visual artists, designers and architects the best to act as a kind of guarantee to end up with art.
As Adriano Berengo wrote this discussion began with the exhibition The Secret of Murano as a contemplation on art and glass by Rosa Barovier in 1997, then regarded as controversial and exciting, as a potential source of discussion, debate and enthusiasm, but also as an aversion. Adriano Berengo opens the catalogue by remarking that GlassFever twenty years later has the same status.

-the Article on GlassFever in Glass is more!>
-Vanmechelen brengt Glazen Paradijs naar Dordtyart in News>
In his essay Koen Vanderstukken talks on his new book Glass: Virtual, Real [ISBN - 10: 1910433926 + ISBN - 13: 9781910433928] to be released in October this year, as his crowdfunding page explains: during the past 8 years, I have conducted intense research to acquire more insight into how people perceive glass and how it has been and is used within the arts. The result of my research is this book entitled, GLASS Virtual, Real, which is set to be released in autumn 2016. This book is not another traditional historical or technical publication on glass, but a quest into the relationship between the use of glass within the arts and the intrinsic qualities of the medium. Although I do refer to the history and science of glass, I only do so in function of its relevance to the use of glass in contemporary art. What makes this publication unique is that the whole thesis builds up towards an insightful vision on how glass can be relevant within a contemporary art context.
Ultimately, the entire book aims to explain the recent increase in use of glass within contemporary art and to investigate the effectiveness of glass as a relatively new medium. The last and largest chapter is completely devoted to this and gives a plethora of examples of work from leading contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter, Josiah McElheny, Jaume Plensa, Fred Wilson, Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye, Joseph Kosuth, Dani Karavan, Ann Veronica Janssens, Donald Lipski, Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Javier Perez, Larry Bell, Koen Vanmechelen, Maya Lin, Mona Hatoum, Dan Graham, Mario Merz, Robert Smithson, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luciano Fabro and many more.”
Also mentioned in the essay by Adriano Berengo the group Glass Secessionism. On his blog Tim Tate wrote: “What is Glass Secessionism? Glass Secessionism is a movement started (on Facebook and at his school in Washington DC) by artist and educator Tim Tate. 
”The evidence supporting my claims comes mostly from my own experiences and observations as a practicing sculptural glass artist, including 10 years showing only  sculpture in fine art settings and then crossing over to the glass gallery world. At this point, I straddle the line between these worlds. Half the galleries that represent my work are glass galleries, half are fine art galleries. My premise is that to succeed in glass in the 21st century, we have to secede from 20th Century founded in Studio Glass. The Studio Glass model was firmly in place. It was time to integrate into the Fine Art World. What we needed was a bridge between these two worlds, to assist in this transition which was coming so very quickly.
"Glass Secessionism" is firmly rooted in the historical precedent of Photo Secession, and that movement provides a template for organizing our nascent movement. Like the Photo Secession, we are moving away from the technique-dominated culture of studio glass. We respect good technique, and understand its importance in creating great art from glass. However, we believe that great art should be driven primarily by artistic vision, and technique should facilitate the vision. For too long, technique has driven the majority of studio glass. As Secessionists we do not seek to isolate ourselves from other artists working in glass, but to enhance the field as a whole.
Glass Secessionism”, a Facebook page, was created to be an accessible venue for the showing, discussion and definition of secessionist works. Works that are based in mixed media and time base electronics, for example. Its objective is to advance glass as applied to sculptural expression; to draw together those glass artists practicing or otherwise interested in the arts, and to discuss specific examples of the Glass-Secession or other narrative work.”  
Read the full article:

Read also the PDF -hanging at the bottom of this page- on Juul Vernooij Masterscriptie, Het medium glas in de hedendaagse kunst, J. Vernooij, 2013 (Master's thesis, the medium glass in contemporary art, j. Vernooij, 2013)
In her Foreword Vernooij (interim at Berengo Studio in 2011) wrote: “This thesis was written in the context of the completion of the Master study modern and contemporary art at the University of Utrecht. During my period of study at Utrecht University it has shown that my interest is primarily in the field of modern and contemporary art with the focus on the use of glass in the art.”

Read also the message on facebook by Yuka Otani: “I’d like to share some thoughts that somewhat reflect a comment by William Warms on April 19th, “…Yet there is a rich and deep history of critical writing about glass that is always overlooked.”
I will be curating a group exhibition in downtown Corning, NY during the upcoming GAS conference this June. It’s titled “Emancipation: how to make a work of glass that isn’t glass?”>
The Agenda>

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. William A. Foster

Some time ago I responded to this Facebook discussion with the text Mirror Mirror on the wall by Mireille Houtzager, original written in 1998.
One of her conclusions was: “There is clearly 'something' about the extraordinarily beautiful material involved (be it glass, pottery, a precious metal or a textile) which ensures that all other factors (form, content, concept, idea) are forced to yield before it. There is undeniably 'something' about the tactile craftsmanship involved in the act of creation which is so absorbing, and demands so much concentration and so many hours of work, that the rest is so easily forgotten. The result, when it takes the form of yet another turd made of glass, ceramics or textiles, often inspires, in a blood-curdling way, feelings of irritation. "Just look at it, isn't it beautiful, isn't it clever, isn't it lovely?," coo the insiders, as if they were talking about some baby regarded as the wonder of the world. After all, a turd remains nothing more than a turd; none of this, or hardly any of it, has anything to do with art. (But you can put it in a tin can, as Manzoni did in 196, with his work "Merda d'artista").
Read Mirrir Mirror on the Wall....>
Contributing to site Oudeis, Manuel Fadat explains this ‘unique analytic project’: “Glass and new technologies. Think about the relationship between glass and new technologies in the creative fields of (glass arts / digital, media, electronic arts / design) in the so-called 'digital' era: it is a search in progress.”… ‘As part of its research on digital arts, Oudeis is a ‘laboratory of digital arts and electronic media, new technologies and new media’. Manuel Fadat (a specialist in the arts of glass and uses of glass in art) he recently committed to Oudeis as a theoretical and artistic adventure that emerges from questioning the deep spaces of one of the many discussions his team members fondly pursue, where two fields intersect: new technologies on the one hand; glass art and uses of glass in the arts on the other hand and finally, their combination’.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein
In my work as general editor of Glashelder, Glasbulletin, This Side Up! and Fjoezzz, and also in my lectures, exhibitions and catalogues, I’ve continuously strived for certain qualities also found in Glass Is More!: a pleasant mix of visual art, design and architecture that includes the history of glass and its future applications that is presented through only the best, state-of-the-art work and in such clearly written articles that both the layman and professional can see what quality in art could be.
I wrote articles and artist’s portraits among others on Koen Vanmechelen, Dan Graham, Wim Delvoye, Heinz Mack, Marc Mulders, Daan Roosegaarde and Jan Fabre but also on designers and glass artists.

In 2015, I posted in Glass Is More! series Cutting Edges, an article based on my opening talk at the Glasmuseet in Ebeltoft, Denmark in 2004: The Empowerment Of Imagination. In this article, glass artists are themselves held up to the light.  The artist’s profession is (still) free and unprotected. Artists do not need to have received an academic education or to hold a degree.  An artist may consider himself to be producing a work of art, but its quality as such remains to be decided and confirmed by authorities in that field. If real art is to be distinguished from the work of amateurs, the world of art needs experts who are qualified to appreciate real quality and who can determine what is valuable, what deserves to be revealed to the public and what should be preserved for posterity. As to whether their judgments will be vindicated, only time will tell. It is difficult, however, to bridge the yawning chasm separating the expert from the layman, illiterate as many artists are when it comes to the language of imagery.
The numerous bad and senseless glass objects flooding and polluting the market are helping to fuel a creeping inflation as a result of which glass art is rapidly degenerating into something not unlike the position of a patient whose strange illness may not be mentioned in his presence. Only by calling a spade a spade can his pain and suffering be properly discussed. Glass art belongs like the art of glass at the primacy of art, visual art, and autonomous art as architecture, design and crafts do. Read the article>

“It's better to have a small diamond than a large piece of glass.” Robert Genn

And in my opinion that is the only criterion to see if a piece of work can stand the time or was only a small belch. My advice is to leave the visual artists in their own habitat here they develop as autonomous artists the most honest and best works.
See the Article The Craft of Looking by Steven ten Thije with the work by Tony Cragg, 1991 in Glass is more!>

Lets be brave to hold the teachers and the education institutes up to the light: here the future artists are formed to critically create the art of tomorrow and at the same time worship the 1972 invention of the Glasbak or glass recycling bin!

In the exposition at Dortyard I reencountered only a few gems because of the bad exposing of the works in this wonderful space, the bad choices made by the curator leaving most of the works exposed seemingly to be only an other turd in time.

So go and see the exposition, read the catalogue and find out which pearls you can string to your cord of real art experiences.
Edited By Erica H. Adams (U.S.) Who Is:
-Contributing Editor Of Glass Is More! (2013 - ). Link To Adams’ Fjoezzz Columns Through The Glass (2007-2013) on Jan Fabre, Anselm Kiefer, Roni Horn, Dale Chihuly, Yoko Ono, Harvey K. Littelton, Joshiah McElheny, Louise Bourgeois, Maya Lin, Ólafur Éliasson> Http://Smfa.Academia.Edu/Ericahadams
-Faculty In Glass, Painting And A Program In Venice, Adams Taught (1988-2015) At Tufts University-School Of The Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston.
-A Visual Artist, Adams Was Interviewed By Oudeis (2015): Http://Www. Oudeis.Fr/Entretien-Erica-H-Adams/ And Exhibited Paintings In Formal Aspects (2015) At Cape Cod Museum Of Art Http://Formalaspects.Blogspot.Com/2015/02/Erica-Adams-Result-Of-Living-Year-Round.Html
-Curator Of Respeto/Respect (2013) A Traveling Exhibit Of Photographs About Maya Religious Diversity And Coexistence In Chiapas, Mexico By 7 Maya Women Members Of The Chiapas Photography Project, In Chiapas, Mexico.  Www.Chiapasphoto.Org

Exposition view GlassFever at Dordtyart
Photo: Fenestra Ateliers

Exposition view GlassFever at Dordtyart
Photo: Fenestra Ateliers

Exposition view GlassFever at Dordtyart
Photo: Fenestra Ateliers

Click here to download the file "_Vernooij_2013_copy.Juul_Vernooij_Ma.pdf".
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