Opening in Venice on 4 June 2011 will be the second edition of Glasstress, the contemporary art exhibition in which important stars on the international scene match their talents with the use of glass. The exhibition to be held at Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (seat of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Acti) and the Berengo Centre for Contemporary Act and Glass will include sculptures, installations and design objects. Conceived by Adriano Berengo and produced by Venice Projects, Glasstress 2011 will be curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Lidewij Edelkoort, Peter Noever and Demetrio Paparoni and the catalogue will have contributions from important international critics.
Glasstress 2011 will be open to the public until November 27, 2011, and among other things will exhibit sculptures and installations of glassworks especially created by Domenico Bianchi, Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre, Francesco Gennari, Zhang Huan, Liu Jianhua, Michael Joo, Vik Muniz, Tony Oursler, Javier Perez, Jaume Plensa, Bernardi Roig, Thomas Schutte, Doug and Mike Starn, Fred Wilson, Erwin Wurm and many others.
The theme of this year's exhibition is the complex relationship that ties art, design and architecture together in an age thought to have moved beyond modernism. Comparing the opinions of various curators, Glasstress addresses this issue through glass sculptures specially made by major artists on the contemporary scene and through objects and sculptures made by designers, whose research was influenced by the formal aspect of the use of the object.
Putting glassworks that respond to such profoundly different concepts next to each other in the same show is the equivalent of reviving critical issues that are far from resolved: What makes an object that is formally conditioned by its function a work of art? To respond to the spirit of the time, must a work refer only to itself? Can we say today that the function of a design object is itself enough to make the work alien to the spirit of the time regardless of its formal qualities? These questions, which are the basis of the 2011 Glasstress project, call into question the notion of "art for art's sake" so dear to the 20th century avant-gardes.
Glasstress 2011 offers the viewer food for thought about complex themes. It poses the need for a critical reassessment of the main tenets of modernism, the majority of which were still very much present in the art of the eighties and questioned in the next decade by the second generation of post-modernism. Glasstress 2011 demonstrates just how topical these themes still are and the need to explore them further.
Adriano Berengo was born in Venice in 1947. He lives in Venice and Beirut. In 1989 Berengo founded Berengo Studio. He is currently involved in the creation of the first Italian museum devoted to contemporary art made of glass, the Berengo Center for Contemporary Art and Glass, based in Murano, which boasts one of the most important collection of works made of glass by international artists. He has been the promoter of exhibitions in museums such as the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, in Moscow, the Kunstmuseum of Dusseldorf, the Corning Museum in New York, the Belvedere Museum in Vienna and many others. He has also promoted side events at the 51st and 53rd Venice Biennial.
Bonnie Clearwater, born in 1957, is an American art historian and writer. Currently director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, she is the leading expert in the work of Mark Rothko. She was the personal artistic consultant to Leonard A. Lauder, cosmetics magnate and chairman of the Whitney Museum. In the same years was also the director of the Mark Rothko Foundation of New York. In the mid-eighties she moved to Los Angeles, where she directed the Lannan Foundation and the Peter Norton Foundation, created to manage his influential private collection.
Lidewij Edelkoort, Dutch, was born in 1950 and is considered one of the most prominent trendsetters in the world. In 2003 she was nominated by Time as one of the 25 most influential people in the field of fashion and elected by the magazine i - D as one of the 30 most dominant people in the field of design. She has worked with the best-known brands in fashion and design. She founded cult magazines like View on Color and Bloom and directs the Design Academy of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. In 2005 Aid to Artisans gave her the Lifetime Achievement Award for her support for craftsmanship and design. In 2007 she was named Chevelier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
Since 1986 Peter Noever has been artistic director ofMAK, the Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art in Vienna. He has curated art and architecture exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Asia. Throughout his career he has also been interested in design, contributing to the conception and promotion of new products. As a critic, his name is linked to artists of the likes of Franz West, Donald Judd, Philip Johnson and Michael Kienzer. Between 1975 and 1993 he taught Design Analysis at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and in 1989 held a course in M useology at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
From 1982 to 1994 he was director ofthe architecture magazine UMRISS. In 1994 he founded the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. In 2006 he founded the Josef Hoffmann Museum in the city of Brtnice, in the Czech Republic, thanks to the contribution of MAK and the Moravian Gallery of Brno. With the donation of the Fitzpatrick-Leland House to MAK, he started the UFI MAK (Urban Future Initiative ofthe MAK center), an artist-in- residence project.
Demetrio Paparoni was born in Siracusa, Italy and lives in Milan. An art historian and curator, in 1983 he founded the magazine of contemporary art, Tema Celeste, which he directed until 2000. He has taught the History of Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Architecture in Catania.
In 1993 he was commissioner for the 45th Venice Biennial. He has written monographs and contributed to the catalogues of artists such as Chuck Close, Peter Halley, Anish Kapoor, Jonathan Lasker, Vik Muniz, Tony Oursler, David Salle, Sean Scully and Jenny Saville. His books include L'arte contemporanea e il suo metodo (Neri Pozza Editore, 2005) and Eretica (Skira, 2006). In recent years he has also written for the catalogues of important anthological exhibits dedicated to Andy Warhol, Jean-Miquel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and Edward Hopper. He collaborates with the RAI as expert and commentator for the television program Art News.
Conceived by: Adriano Berengo
Produced by: Venice Projects
Curated by: Bonnie Clearwater, Lidewij Edelkoort, Peter Noever, Demetrio Paparoni
Place: Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Campo Santo Stefano 2945, Venezia
Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass, Campiello della Pescheria, M urano- Venezia
Preview: 1-3 June 2011
Date: 4 June-27 November 2011
Information: tel. 041739453/0415276364