John Isaacs
Let The Golden Age Begin, 2013, detail
Glass, wood, steel, leather 567 x 161 x 150 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio



Glasstress, collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice, now in its third appearance in the lagoon, will be opened to the public from May 31st to November 24th 2013.
Glasstress. White Light / White Heat, curated by Adriano Berengo and James Putnam, proposes the participating artists to deal with light and heat, intrinsic aspects of glass and its working. Glass is born from the creative and destructive force of fire, which transforms the basic chemical elements into a mouldable fluid. The result is a matter solid, yet with a chaotic molecular structure providing light with a limitless variety of surfaces, colours, transparencies and reflections.

Posted 13 May 2013

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55th International Art Exhibition in Venice


Glasstress: White Light / White Heat
Contemporary artists and glass
Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Ron Arad, Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Cornelia Parker, Conrad Shawcross, Joanna Vasconcelos, Miroslaw Balka, Cai Guo Quiang and others create their first glass works in Murano, co-curated by Adriano Berengo and James Putnam.

In a unique collaboration between the Berengo Studio (Venice), Venice Projects (Venice), London College of Fashion and the Wallace Collection (London), Glasstress: White Light/White Heat presents the newly commissioned work of some of today’s most important contemporary artists, most of whom will be working in glass for the first time.

The exhibition builds on the success of two previous Venice Art Biennale Glasstress shows (2009, 2011), with some fifty artists invited to respond to the theme of light and heat, the components of fire, the fundamental elements involved in the formation of the universe and also the essence of glassblowing. Light is integral to our perception of glass, while heat is required to shape it.

The show includes some major and emerging contemporary artists including: Alice Anderson, Polly Apfelbaum, Ron Arad, Miroslaw Balka, Rina Banerjee, Fiona Banner, Loris Cecchini, Hussein Chalayan, Mat Collishaw, Tony Cragg, Tracey Emin, Paul Fryer, Stuart Haygarth, Shirazeh Houshiary, Shih Chieh Huang, John Isaacs, Michael Joo, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Hew Locke,
Alastair Mackie, Kris Martin, Whitney McVeigh, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Cornelia Parker, Cai Guo Qiang, Thomas Schütte, Conrad Shawcross, Meekyoung Shin, Joana Vasconcelos, Mariko Mori, Joseph Kosuth, Jason Martin, Jaume Plensa, Koen Vanmechelen. Other artists involved reflect the influence of London College of Fashion such as Lucy Orta, Charlotte Hodes, Boudicca and Helen Storey.

Adriano Berengo, President of Berengo Studio, is celebrating 20 years of working with artists this year. The studio was founded in Murano in 1989, with the first works created in collaboration with artists in 1993, inspired largely by Peggy Guggenheim’s fascination in the artistic possibilities of glass. Guggenheim encouraged modernist artists like Kokoschka, Picasso, Braque, Chagall and Max Ernst, to experiment with Venetian glass, feeling that it shouldn’t be relegated to the purely decorative. With the Glasstress shows he is offering a selection of contemporary artists the chance to explore this fascinating medium.

Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice Chancellor, LCF, says
“We wanted to create a collaboration with Berengo Studio and The Wallace Collection to help change perceptions about all of our disciplines – craftsmanship, glassmaking and fashion. Fashion is such a transformative medium: we all use it to change the way we look and express ourselves. The artists in our exhibition are transforming glass, ‘fashioning’ it into something that carries so much more meaning than the raw material. There is an exciting alchemy at work here.”

Glasstress: White Light / White Heat will open at the preview of the Venice Biennale on 31 May at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti on the Grand Canal and at the Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass accompanied by dynamic performances from Alice Anderson and Cai Guo Qiang.

Ron Arad's work for the exhibition also has a performative and interactive element. Entitled "Last Train", it is inspired, he says, by a late night train journey in which he witnessed a man using the large diamond ring on his hand to graffiti a train window. Arad has invited artists such as
Anthony Gormley and David Shrigley to use a specially created iPad programme to manipulate a bejewelled hand that scratches their drawings into a large piece of plate glass. The finished works will be on display in the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti.

At the close of the Biennale, a selection of pieces from the exhibition will travel to London College of Fashion’s
Fashion Space Gallery and to the Wallace Collection, where the contemporary work will be in dialogue with their important Venetian glass collection. Adriano Berengo offered a prize for University of the Arts alumni to create a work in glass to be fabricated at his studio and exhibited as part of Glasstress: White Light / White Heat.
A major publication will accompany Glasstress: White Light / White Heat, which will also be featured in the official Biennale catalogue.


Exhibition runs 1 June - 24 Nov 2013 at:
-Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (Campo Santo Stefano – San Marco, Venezia)
-Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass, Campiello della Pescheria, Murano, Venezia
-Scuola Grande Confraternita di San Teodoro, San Marco, Venezia
Nov 2013 - Jan 2014
-The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN
-Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion, 20 John Princes Street W1G 0BJ
Visitor Information:

Dining stories chandelier, 2013 (dettaglio)
handblown Murano glass, 140 x 140 x 280 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio

Mona Hatoum
Kapancik, 2012
Mild steel and glass, 64 x 34 x 34 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio

Oksana Mas
Quantum Prayer, 2013
Glass and aluminum engine cm 60 x 62 x 60 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio

Whitney McVeigh
Solitude a breath away (to be kept in lower case), 2013 (dettaglio)
Glass and Found Object 56 x 64 x 42 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio

Shih Chieh Huang:
Seductive Evolution of Animated Illumination, 2013; Glass, MIcro Controller, Computer cooling fans, plastic, LED, electric cables, 2m x 4m x 4m
Credit: Berengo Studio

Marta Klonowska: The Fish, 2013; Glass and 80 x 110 x 60 cm; Metal, glass with watercolor 30x40 cm and drawing 29,7 x 21 cm, 80 x 110 x 60 cm
Credit: Berengo Studio

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