Robert Wilson in Glass
September 10 – November 26, 2017
Organized by Fondazione Berengo
Curated by Jean Blanchaert, Noah Khoshbin
Fondazione Berengo | Palazzo Franchetti | San Marco 2847, Venice
Coinciding with the first annual The Venice Glass Week, Fondazione Berengo was proud to present Robert Wilson in Glass, in the context of GLASSTRESS 2017. This unique exhibition of glass artworks by the renowned stage director, designer and visual artist, was curated by Jean Blanchaert and Noah Khoshbin.
For the first time in Italy, Wilson’s glass artworks arrived in Venice, overlooking Murano, the Island of Glass that inspired these pieces. In fact, it was his encounter with the glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra that sparked Wilson’s passion for glass. At the beginning of the ’90s, Tagliapietra was often in Marseille, at CIRVA (Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts Plastiques), and that was where Wilson started producing glass. On display as a collateral project of GLASSTRESS 2017, Robert Wilson in Glass at the Fondazione Berengo included a selection of his works, created from 1994 to 2005 at CIRVA.
Bowls, cylinders and domes, as well as inverted pyramids, lustrous and translucent, as well as dark and opaque, Wilson describes his experience with glass as a constant contradiction. Wilson says “I like ceramics but I much prefer glass because of its heaviness and lightness”. His glass pieces are the result of a subtle alliance of these contrasts.
From the theatrical stage to video projects, in every aspect of Robert Wilson’s oeuvre we can see a dreamlike environment of great visual and emotional impact derived from a very specific field: geometry. Glass is no exception. Curved lines express specific moments from Wilson’s life, made even more recognizable by the colors used. “They have memory”, says Wilson. The morning fog and condensation captured in the satin surfaces, the reflection of water, highlighted by flashes of metal, occupied the beautiful spaces of Palazzo Franchetti, the stunning palace on the Grand Canal that is the official home of Fondazione Berengo and GLASSTRESS 2017.
ABOUT ROBERT WILSON
Robert “Bob” Wilson was born in 1941 in Waco, Texas. Stage director, designer and visual artist with a background in business administration and architecture, Wilson has been acclaimed as “the world’s foremost avant-garde ‘theater artist’.” With a career spanning almost five decades, he is known internationally for pushing the boundaries of every discipline he works in, which includes choreography, painting, sculpture, video art and sound design. He has collaborated with artists, writers, musicians and performers like Philip Glass, Marina Abramović, Willem Dafoe and Lady Gaga. Wilson has directed and designed operas for Teatro La Scala, Milan; the Metropolitan Opera, New York; and the Moscow Bolshoi, among many others. His visual works can be found in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, all New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Vitra Design Museum, to mention only the most important. Among his numerous awards, he was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion Award for Sculpture at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.
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