Curated by Dimitri Ozerkov, Herwig Kempinger, Adriano Berengo
11.05 – 26.11.2017
Palazzo Franchetti, Venice; Berengo Exhibition Space, Murano
Returning to Venice for the 57th Venice Biennale, Glasstress brought together 40 leading contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China in an ambitious exhibition exploring the endless creative possibilities of glass. Conceived by Fondazione Berengo, the project took 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 Venice Biennale 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 groundbreaking new works in glass.
The 2017 edition of Glasstress presented an impressive line-up of artists including Ai Weiwei, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Jan Fabre, Abdulnasser Gharem, Tony Oursler, Laure Prouvost, Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Schütte and Sarah Sze. 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.
In the garden of Palazzo Franchetti, Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen presents a spectacular installation exploring recycling and sustainability supported by ECO-oh!
In Murano, where the exhibition continues, Loris Gréaud makes his Glasstress debut with a special project at Berengo Exhibition Space. The French artist brought an abandoned glass furnace back to life with his immersive and performative solo exhibition The Unplayed Notes Factory curated by Nicolas Bourriaud.
Glasstress 2017 was curated by Dimitri 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). The Unplayed Notes Factory by Loris Gréaud was curated independently by Nicolas Bourriaud.