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Glasstress is a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale of Arts. It has taken place in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Although the 2017 exhibition took place during the Venice Biennale, it was not an offiical collateral event.

The mission of Glasstress is to show how contemporary artists use glass as an incomparable medium for their expression. For a long time, especially in Venice and Murano, glass has been generally associated to decoration, whereas its relevance for outstanding accomplishments by great artists was neglected. The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even, also known as The Large Glass by Marcel Duchamp (1915–23, Philadelphia Museum of Art) might be considered as a seminal milestone. But in recent years an increasing number of artists have taken up working with glass for their creations, and Glasstress is the first initiative aimed at documenting and promoting this trend[1] [1].

Glasstress 2009[edit]

Glasstress 2009 (June 6 - November 24), curated by the glass expert Rosa Barovier Mentasti and the art historian Laura Mattioli Rossi, was mainly a historical display of masterpieces of art glass from 1920 to the present times. The rooms of Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, facing the Canal Grande, hosted artworks by Josef Albers, Man Ray, Anton Pevsner, Jean Arp, Lucio Fontana, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Hamilton, Joseph Kosuth, Louise Bourgeois. Some of the artworks had been expressly made for Glasstress by artists such as Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre, Orlan, and Fred Wilson, who have been invited to work in his glass studio in Murano by Adriano Berengo, the inventor of Glasstress.[2]

Glasstress 2011[edit]

Glasstress 2011 [2] (June 4 – November 27) has been curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Lidewij Edelkoort, Peter Noever and Demetrio Paparoni. The 2011 edition took place in two different sites, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, and the Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass, in Murano. Glasstress 2011 focused on the complex relationship that ties art, design and architecture together in an age thought to have moved beyond modernism.[3] The exhibition, produced by Venice Projects, a partnership between Adriano Berengo and Susan Scherman, was presented in collaboration with MAD, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. [3]

Glasstress 2013[edit]

Glasstress 2013: White Light/White Heat (June 1 – November 24) was a Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale, curated by James Putnam and Adriano Berengo. It featured the artwork of over 66 artists, including: Tracey Emin, Tony Oursler, Jaume Plensa, Koen Vanmechelen and Ursula von Rydingsvard.

The exhibition took place in three locations: Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti / Veneto Institute of Sciences, Arts and Letters, the Berengo Center for Contemporary Art and Glass on the island of Murano, and next to the Grande Confraternity School of San Teodoro at San Marco.[4]

Glasstress 2015[edit]

Glasstress 2015: Gotika (May 9 – November 15) was a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale of Art. Organized by The State Hermitage Museum, Berengo Studio, and Fondazione Berengo, it was curated by Dimitri Ozerkov and Adriano Berengo. In 2016, the exhibition travelled to Russia and was presented at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The exhibition included artworks from Olafur Eliasson, Erwin Wurm, Jaume Plensa, Tony Cragg and Jake and Dinos Chapman.[5]

Glasstress 2017[edit]

Artworks by Karen LaMonte at Glasstress 2017.[6] LaMonte's installations included Nocturnes, sculptures in cast glass (as seen in photo) and white bronze.

Glasstress 2017 (May 11 – November 26) was a significant evolution from previous years. For the first time, it was a stand alone exhibition which took place during the Venice Biennale of Art. It was curated by Dimitri Ozerkov of the State Hermitage Museum, Herwig Kempinger the president of the Vienna Secession, and Adriano Berengo with consultation by Clare Phyllis Davies of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The exhibition included artworks by some of the most significant contemporary artists including Ai Weiwei, Shirazeh Houshiary, Vik Muniz, Sarah Sze, and Karen LaMonte.


  1. ^ New York Times, August 8, 2009
  2. ^ Financial Times Weekend, October 10, 2009, p. 7.
  3. ^ Arte, August 2011, p. 36-7.
  4. ^ Arti, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed. "Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - GLASSTRESS White Light / White Heat". (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  5. ^ "Glasstress Gotika | My Art Guides". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  6. ^ Gould, Rachel. "Don't Miss This Glassworks Exhibition in a 16th-Century Venetian Palace". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2018-07-29.

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