GLASSTRESS 2019 at MURANO: it's a crystalline world

Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico, the historic center, divided into six districts called Sestieri, seeming to form one large island. Albeit, there are said to be a total of 120 islands in the lagoon whereas only 11 are permanently inhabited.


Italy - Murano Island - Vetreria Ducale
Some of the best places to shop for glass on Murano island: The Vetreria Ducale, adorned by a sign of Guerrieri pottery, and to the left the Ferro & Lazzarini glass factory.

The island of Murano is the third largest one - after the Centro Storico and the Lido - and actually consists of seven small islands divided by eight channels and connected by bridges.

World-famous for glass and crystal, Murano is definitely worth the short boat trip from the Fondamente Nove stop; and, while the exhibition Glasstress is on, visiting Murano's crystalline world is indisputably a must.

MURANO


The island of Murano is located about 1.5 kilometers - or one mile - north of the Centro Storico in the Venetian Lagoon. It once used to be an independent commune, but is now part of greater Venice.


Italy - Murano Island
It shows that the Centro Storico island and Murano are somehow...related.

Although there are some landmarks such as the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, the Church of San Pietro Martire, and the Palazzo da Mula, most people are visiting for the glass: For the uncountable stores as well as for the Murano Glass Museum, housed in the large Palazzo Giustinian.

In the 13th century, Murano was a summer resort for the Venetian aristocrats who built beautiful villas with orchards and gardens.
Eventually, since the furnaces that were used by the artisans to melt the glass were a fire hazard, the Venetian glass production was outsourced to the island of Murano.
The island became Europe's prime glassmaking center, whereby the 15th and 16th centuries were the heydays of production.


Italy - Murano Island - Torre dell'Orologio
Campo Santo Stefano with the Torre dell'Orologio, the clock tower, and the Albero di Natale in Vetro, the Christmas tree made of glass.

Murano wasn't only famous for the outstanding quality: During the 15th century, the local glassmakers created cristallo, an almost transparent glass that was considered world's finest. On the other hand, they also developed a white-colored glass, a milk glass called lattimo, that looked like porcelain. They have been making huge chandeliers, amazing mirrors, bowls and vases, jewelry and beads.

To this date, glass is one of the most sought after souvenir among the visitors to Venice.

In the 13th century, it took the nobles about an hour to row a boat from Venice to Murano - which, of course, they didn't have to do themselves.


Italy - Murano Island
Getting to Murano by Vaporetto in just a couple of minutes.

Today, if you catch the Vaporetto at the Fondamente Nove stop, you'll get to the first stop on the island of Murano in about ten minutes and it sets you back 5 €uro; that's only to the first stop Colonna, though. If you go further, it's 7,50 €uro each way.

ADRIANO BERENGO and the FONDAZIONE BERENGO


Mr. Adriano Berengo was born in Venice in 1947. He studied in his hometown at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice as well as at the State University of New York where he obtained his Ph.D. After a short career as a teacher of English Literature and Language, he started working as the artistic director at the glassworks Vetreria Salviato & C.  in 1982.
In 1989, Mr. Berengo, who today is living in Venice and Beirut, founded the Berengo Studio to promote glass as an artistic medium.


Glasstress Exhibition: Hans Op de Beeck Frozen Vanitas
Hans Op De Beeck is famous for his life size monochrome installations. Here, he's exhibiting some  The Frozen Vanitas made of glass.

Then, in 2014, Fondazione Berengo was installed, focusing on Adriano Berengo's thirty-year project, namely to unite and present the traditional glass art of Murano together with contemporary art projects in a fresh, innovative way.

GLASSTRESS


In 2009, the project Glasstress was introduced, showing the most interesting glass works as a collaterale during the Venice biennial.
The venue of choice was the historical Palazzo Franchetti right in the heart of the Centro Storico, just across from the Accademia.

Didn't I say Mr. Berengo wanted to show glass art in a fresh and innovative way? Well, he achieved his goal with bravado: When I visited Glasstress in 2013 for the first time, I was just blown away and speechless. Glass, handicraft and art alike, to me had always been not only fragile and tender, but also lovely and sweet - pleasant and pleasing.


Glasstress Exhibition: Javier Perez Carrona
Fragile? Obviously! But tender and pleasing?!
Javier Pérez Carroña

What I saw here was totally different from what you'd expect from glass: The works were raw and rough, political, critical and daring.
It was possible to create this of glass?! Wow!


Glasstress Exhibition: Koen Vanmechelen Black Medusa
So far from being sweet'n'lovely.
Koen Vanmechelen Black Medusa

Glasstress became one of my very favorite shows at the biennials and since then, I haven't missed a single one.

It never got old or mediocre - on the contrary, every time I was amazed which artists had contributed - artists I had never expected would work with glass. Quirky guys like Ai Weiwei, the Chapman Brothers, or Erwin Wurm. Even Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, usually famous for filling rooms with their installations referring to life in the Soviet Union, chipped in.


Glasstress Exhibition: Ai Weiwei Up Yours
Ai Weiwei showing the visitor the finger - in all the colors of the rainbow.
Ai Weiwei Up Yours

This year, to celebrate Glasstress' 10th anniversary as well as 30 years of Berengo Studio, the exhibition does not take place at the Palazzo Franchetti, but appropriately on the island of Murano.


Glasstress Exhibition: Fiona Banner Work2 and Michael Joo Expanded Access
It's a pretty unusual idea to build a scaffold from glass - something that is supposed to sustain and uphold, something that has to be really sturdy.
Fiona Banner Work 2 and Michael Joo Expanded Access (to the left)

That an abandoned glass furnace was chosen for presenting the outstanding works and installations is simply a masterstroke: You truly have the impression that you are witnessing how these incredible pieces were just completed you're among the first to admire them.


Glasstress Exhibition: Wael Shawky Cabaaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala
Wael Shawky Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala on top of the old ovens.

MY GALLERY




Glasstress Exhibition: Jean Arp Collage n.2
Jean Arp Collage n. 2 (glass object), Ed 2/3
Glasstress Exhibition: Erwin Wurm Venezian Narrow
Erwin Wurm Venezian Narrow

Glasstress Exhibition: Laure Prouvost Hard Connections
Laure Prouvost Hard Connections


Glasstress Exhibition: Jake and Dinos Chapman The Glass Bead Game
Jake and Dinos Chapman The Glass Bead Game
Glasstress Exhibition: Cesar Compression
César Compression


Glasstress Exhibition: Abdulnasser Gharem The Stamp
Abdulnasser Gharem The Stamp

Glasstress Exhibition: Jan Fabre Shitting Doves of Peace and Flying Rats
Jan Fabre Shitting Doves of Peace and Flying Rats

Glasstress Exhibition: Jan Fabre Shitting Doves of Peace and Flying Rats
Jan Fabre Shitting Doves of Peace and Flying Rats (Detail)

Glasstress Exhibition: Ai Weiwei Blossom Chandelier
Ai Weiwei Blossom Chandelier
Glasstress Exhibition: Mat Collishaw A different self
Mat Collishaw A different self

Glasstress Exhibition: Mat Collishaw East of Eden
Matt Collishaw East of Eden

Glasstress Exhibition: Karen LaMonte Reclining Nocturne 4
Karen LaMonte Reclining Nocturne 4

Glasstress Exhibition: Kendell Geers Cardiac Arrest VIII (left), Michael Kienzer Off Order, Vol. 2 (front), Valeska Soares Acqua Alta (back), Miroslaw Balka 6 x (138 x 47 x 10) (right)
Kendell Geers Cardiac Arrest VIII (left), Michael Kienzer Off Order, Vol. 2 (front), Valeska Soares Acqua Alta (back), Miroslaw Balka 6 x (138 x 47 x 10) (right)

Glasstress Exhibition: Kendell Geers Cardiac Arrest VIII
Kendell Geers Cardiac Arrest VIII (a heart made from police clubs)

Glasstress Exhibition: Valeska Soares Acqua Alta
Valeska Soares Acqua Alta

Glasstress Exhibition: Saint Clair Cemin Innocenza
Saint Clair Cemin Innocenza
(Each chair is between 30 and 50 cm)

Glasstress Exhibition: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Arch of Life
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Arch of Life

Glasstress Exhibition: Jose Parla Tiempos Fragiles
José Parlá Tiempos Fragiles

Glasstress Exhibition: Jose Parla Tiempos Fragiles
José Parlá Tiempos Fragiles (Detail)


HOW TO VISIT


Like I explained above, you just hop on a Vaporetto at the Fondemente Nove stop and get off at the Colonna stop at Murano. There you just walk down the Fondamenta dei Vetrai till you get to the Campiello della Pescheria.


Murano Island Italy: Fondamenta dei Vetrai
Across the canal from the Fondamenta dei Vetrai.

Fondazione Berengo Art Space
Campiello della Pescheria 4
30141 Murano
Phone: + 39 - 41 - 73 94 53
Email: comunicazione@berengo.com 

The exhibition is open from Thursday to Tuesday from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. and will be on till November 24, 2019.

Entrance fee is 7 €uro.


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Pin for a post on Glasstress at Murano: Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico while there are many other isles to be visited in the lagoon - like Murano, world-famous for glass and crystal. And while the exhibition Glasstress is on, visiting Murano's crystalline world is indisputably a must. #venice #venezia #murano #italia #italy #veneto #glass #glasstress #arttrip #citybreak #byemyself #byemyselftravels


Pin for a post on Glasstress at Murano: Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico while there are many other isles to be visited in the lagoon - like Murano, world-famous for glass and crystal. And while the exhibition Glasstress is on, visiting Murano's crystalline world is indisputably a must. #venice #venezia #murano #italia #italy #veneto #glass #glasstress #arttrip #citybreak #byemyself #byemyselftravels


Pin for a post on Glasstress at Murano: Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico while there are many other isles to be visited in the lagoon - like Murano, world-famous for glass and crystal. And while the exhibition Glasstress is on, visiting Murano's crystalline world is indisputably a must. #venice #venezia #murano #italia #italy #veneto #glass #glasstress #arttrip #citybreak #byemyself #byemyselftravels



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10 comments:

  1. Beautiful images, and it looks remarkably empty for being so close to Venice. Is that really the case?

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  2. I was just there this summer! What incredible skills and creativity these glassblowers have! Great info!

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  3. Absolutely fascinating! Who would have thought some of these things could even be made from glass! Definitely something I'd like to see! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  4. I was in Murano back in June and is a lot quieter than Venice and Burano but still worth a visit. I also went to see the glass place and found it really fascinating. Defo worth going to if anybody hasnt been there yet.

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  5. Beautiful glasswork and an absolutely fascinating read. You are right, the Glasstress exhibition is incredible. One of my favorites is "the finger." It takes real talent to make the glass as malleable as that. Great read.

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  6. I would love to check this out! I have wanted to take a glass blowing class for years and never get around to it. The patience and skill it must take to create these works is incredible. Thank for introducing me to Glasstress

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  7. I went to Murano my first time in Venice and was so pleasantly surprised by the place. The Christmas tree in Campo Santo Stefano looks amazing! Such a cool place.

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  8. These works of art are incredible! I am continuously amazed by the talents of others, my favorite sculpture is the reclining nocturne, it is stunning! xo - Kam

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  9. Glasstress looks so cool. And Black Medusa, is she completely made of glass? Including fowl and reptile headgear? Indeed mind blowing.

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  10. A really unique attraction! When I started reading this, I was expecting it to simply have a lot of mirrors and chandeliers but some of these sculptures are really beyond my imagination! Especially Carroña by Javier Pérez caught my eye. Fragile but not forgettable.

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