Glassfever -­ Contemporary Art in Glass

Dordrecht, the Netherlands’ oldest municipality, finds in Venice, in glass and in that water that characterizes it, common elements that inspired an innovative art project, honoured with the patronage of the two historical cities.

Starting Sunday, May 1st, 2016, (the vernissage will be April 30th) all art aficionados will be able to visit, in Dordrecht, “Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass”, a diffused exhibition project dedicated to Adriano Berengo’s vision. Berengo is the president of Fondazione Berengo and the owner of Berengo furnace where glass and the skills of furnace masters of Murano give life to a fertile research environment.

“Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass” is the ideal continuation of “The Secret of Murano” that back in 1997 at the Hague – Het Paleis (the Queen’s Palace), made it evident how the skill of the Glass Masters, represented by the great Alfredo Barbini, Archimede Seguso, and Lino Tagliapietra, made available to contemporary artists new, exciting technical possibilities.

For “Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass”, Gerrit Willems, curator of the Modern and Contemporary Art Department at Dordrechts Museum, chose more than 80 pieces by 60 world-famous artists. All art had been made in Murano and had been, other than in Dordrecht Museum, in prestigious venues such as DordtYard, Huis Van Gijn, and Dordts Patriciërshuis.

“Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass” is a passionate portrait of Adriano Berengo’s “factory project”, that has been introducing the magic of glass to artists for more than 25 years, with a special consideration for those who worked with it for the first time and were more likely to contribute innovative curiosity and sensibility. Berengo Studio 1989 represents one of the most interesting agents in the world of international contemporary art, a cultural project whose success is proved by the fact that it involved, up to today, more than 300 artists from all over the globe.

Owing to this, Fondazione Berengo, by promoting an innovative model of “artist’s residence”, gave to five international artists chosen by the Dutch institutions, Rossella Biscotti, Folkert de Jong, Zoro Feigl, Thomáš Libertíny and Giny Vos, the chance to experiment with the creative capabilities of Murano glass and make new art.

Fondazione Berengo wanted and obtained the patronage of Consorzio Promovetro that, thanks to the contributions of around 50 businesses in Murano, has always been committed to the custody and promotion of this ancient art, today safeguarded and recognized in all the world with the brand “Vetro Artistico® Murano” given by the Veneto Region. Promovetro will cooperate with Glassfever with a choice of precious objects from the Venetian Renaissance to modern Home Living design.


Glassfever articulates in four main venues: Dordrechts Museum, DordtYart, Huis Van Gijn, and Dordts Patriciërshuis.

In Dordrechts Museum, the keys to understand the exhibition will focus on an ideal comparison between contemporary and classical art, where the latter can be interpreted in the light of the most recent innovation in glass art. Among the 35 artists nominated for this location we have: Luigi Benzoni, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tony Cragg, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Marya Kazoun, ORLAN, Mimmo Paladino, Javier Pérez, Wael Shawky, Shan Shan Sheng, Lino Tagliapietra, Gavin Turk, Koen Vanmechelen, Fred Wilson, and Erwin Wurm.

In DordtYart, the city’s atelier and the object of a reclamation project of a former shipyard, the focus will primarily be on large-scale, site-specific installations by modern and contemporary artists and on the creative process they followed during their residency in Murano. A furnace will be installed in the main hall and live demonstration of glassmaking will be held.

“Life Bank Project” by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen will find a new life in this large, enchanting venue. A real “event within the event”, this interactive installation dedicated to biodiversity and ancient crops, developed in cooperation with the international Slow Food movement, will be enhanced in its 2016 version with the cooperation of a young artist from Doredrecht: food designer Marije Vogelzang.

In the same venue, visitors will be able to see more large-scale art and installations created within the scope of “Residenza d’Artista” project of Fondazione Berengo by Rossella Biscotti, Folkert de Jong, Zoro Feigl, Thomáš Libertíny, and Giny Vos, as well as sculptures by international artists including Pino Castagna, Soyeon Cho, Zhang Huan, Atelier Van Lieshout, Kate MccGwire, Atelier Ted Noten, Recycle Group, Joana Vasconcelos.

In the spectacular museum-houses Huis Van Gijn and Dordts Patriciërhuis contemporary art interacts with the historical environment, so visitors will be able to enjoy, among others, pieces by Elvira Bach, Luigi Benzoni, Kiki van Eijk, Kiki Kogelnik, Ruud Schoemaker, Lolita Timofeeva, and Bertil Vallien. All art is housed in the halls of patrician residencies in Dordrecht together with original furniture.

In Huis Van Gijn, for this occasion only, the reconstruction of the original Flemish table will be exchanged with a Venetian mise-en-place, certain that, at the time of Renaissance splendour, European courts loved to experiment with different styles and culture in the name of beauty. This wonderful hall, furnished in Flemish-Venetian taste, will become the key to enter a special exhibition. Salviati furnace and Abate Zanetti Glass School contribute to the experience.

Dordrechts Museum will reserve a particular mention to Maestro Lino Tagliapietra, already a protagonist of the acclaimed 1997 exhibition “The Secret of Murano”. Lino Tagliapietra shines in the history of Italian contemporary art as the one to combine the Venetian school with the artistic exuberance of post-WWII America in the Studio Glass experience.

To complete the journey of “Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass” there was no way to do without an old and terribly fascinating collection of glass objects given to the exclusive benefit of the City of Dordrecht by the Museum of Murano Glass and chosen, in cooperation with MUVE – Foundation of Venice City Museums, by Rosa Barovier Mentasti, curator and art historian who has been studying Murano glass for over forty years.


“Glassfever – Contemporary Art in Glass” will be enriched throughout its activity by a cross-cultural project that will involve restaurants, wine bars, pizzerias, ice cream parlours, cafés, and tea rooms in Dordrechts to let visitors immerse completely, all five senses, in the atmosphere of Italian lifestyle.


1.05 > 25.09

Tuesday till Sunday, 11.00 – 17.00
Museumstraat 40 – 3311 XP, Dordrecht
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Phone: +31(0)78 7708708

Wednesday till Sunday 11.00 – 17.00
Maasstraat 11 – 3313 CR, Dordrecht
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Phone: +31 (0)78 6321200

Tuesday till Sunday, 13.00 – 17.00
Wolwevershaven 9 – 3311 AV, Dordrecht
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Phone: +31 (0)78 8438746

Tuesday till Sunday 11.00 – 17.00
Nieuwe Haven 30 – 3311 AP, Dordrecht
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Phone: +31 (0)78 7708708

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