AYMAN BAALBAKI AT GLASSTRESS, VENICE
GLASSTRESS: WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
palazzo cavalli franchetti, venice
1st june - 24th november 2013
curated by James Putman and adrian berengo
Ayman Baalbaki, Unifel Checkpoint and Tire, 2013. Images courtesy of Glasstress
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, Ayman Baalbaki, Miroslaw Balka, Rina Banerjee, Fiona Banner, Loris Cecchini, Hussein Chalayan, Mat Collishaw, Tony Cragg, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, 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.”
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