Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy
11 May, 2017
Returning to Venice for the 57th Venice Biennale, GLASSTRESS brings together 40 leading contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China in an ambitious exhibition exploring the endless creative possibilities of glass. Conceived by Fondazione Berengo, the project will take place in two exceptional historic locations: Palazzo Franchetti in Venice and a converted furnace in Murano.
Since its debut as a collateral event of the Venice Biennale in 2009, GLASSTRESS has revived the traditional craft of Murano glassblowing by forging new alliances with internationally renowned artists and designers and has since become an unparalleled platform showcasing groundbreaking new works in glass.
The 2017 edition of GLASSTRESS presents an impressive line-up of artists including Ai Weiwei, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Jan Fabre, Abdulnasser Gharem, Tony Oursler, Laure Prouvost, Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Schütte and Sarah Sze. With little or no prior experience working with glass, these artists have embraced the challenge of creating extraordinary works in this very delicate medium in collaboration with Muranese artisans. The remarkable output of this unusual encounter defies the stereotypes associated with this ancient craft, ultimately pushing the boundaries of both contemporary art and glass.
Abdulnasser Gharem, Saudi Arabia’s most important conceptual artist, addresses themes of Islamic cultural identity in contemporary society, drawing his inspiration from his previous experience as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi army. His work The Stamp (Moujaz) takes on a satirical view of bureaucracy in the Arab world.