UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS
Curated by Nadja Romain and Koen Vanmechelen
05.09.2020 – 07.01.2021
Fondazione Berengo Art Space
Fondazione Berengo is proud to present UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS, an exhibition that reflects the wealth of contemporary female artists creating works of art in glass.
Featuring visionaries from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Iran, and South Korea in an ambitious line-up, UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS explores the endless creative possibilities of glass and the infinite variety of work produced by female artists who continue to be sidelined in the art world.
UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS features over sixty contemporary female artists from around the world who have worked with Berengo Studio in its furnaces on Murano for over thirty years since the Studio’s foundation in 1989. The exhibition will be held in the heart of Murano in the Fondazione Berengo Art Space, an old glass furnace, an urban archaeological setting which provides the perfect backdrop for this wide range of works from the Berengo archives and a number of new artworks created specifically for the exhibition.
“UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS is a metaphor, a paradox, and a symbol. A provocative proposal by Adriano Berengo to explore the intimate relationship that women have with glass in the heart of Murano.” curator Nadja Romain notes. Curator Koen Vanmechelen declares that “It is time to name mythical icons — inspiring artworks signed by women so that history can no longer be stolen. The invisibility and transparency of glass can shape a new generation while healing scars from history.”
To accompany the exhibition a special catalogue will be produced. Contributor Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. observes how “we should treasure spaces in which female artists are able to take centre stage. At The National Museum of Women in the Arts we strive to create space, both symbolically and physically, for female artists. In 2020 many people in the art world would like to believe that we have achieved parity but the truth is we still have a long way to go. This is why spaces celebrating female artists remain so essential, and an exhibition such as UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS is still important even today.”
UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS will feature collaborative works created in the Studio, a range that spans the entirety of its thirty year history. Among them are the Enlightening Books of Italian artist Chiara Dynys. Berengo is honoured to be featuring Dynys in the exhibition, especially after her solo exhibition at the Palazzo Correr at the 2019 Venice Biennale of Arts and her continued dedication to contemporary glass in recent years.
Other works to note are Shirazeh Houshiary’s architectural Flicker, the impressive chandeliers of Joana Vasconcelos, the glass window of Cornelia Parker, and Fiona Banner’s scaffolding. The fantastic sculptures of Kiki Smith and Mona Hatoum exhibited in GLASSTRESS have found permanent homes in private collections so are not on exhibit.
Italian artist Federica Marangoni was the first artist to return to work in Berengo Studio after the worldwide lockdown. Known throughout Italy for her 1980 exhibition at MOMA and her frequent appearances at the Venice Biennale of Arts, for this exhibition she has created two new sculptures titled: Work Monument to the Female Job.
Advanced casting technology also enabled new works to be produced remotely resulting in a new collaboration with the iconic American artists Judy Chicago and Karen LaMonte.
After the success of Renate Bertlmann at the Austrian Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale she now presents a new installation in which she reimagines roses in deep black glass, together with a new installation of the Lebanese artist Marya Kazoun.
New works have also been made by Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Enrica Borghi, Rosemarie Benedikt, Maria Grazia Rosin, Laure Prouvost, Lucy Orta, and Maria Thereza Alves.
Image: Unbreakable © Koen Vanmechelen, photo Studio Leyssen