Top Artists Will Collaborate With Murano Glassmakers Ahead of Venice Biennale

Ai Weiwei and Sarah Sze are among the 27 artists.

Ai Weiwei at the Berengo Studio Furnace, 2016. Image Courtesy of Fondazione Berengo.

Some 27 of the world’s leading contemporary artists—including Ai Weiwei, Sarah Sze, Paul McCarthy, and Laure Prouvost—have been enlisted to collaborate with local Italian artisans to create new works from Murano glass.

Organized by the Fondazione Berengo—which is dedicated to revitalizing the glassmaking industry in Murano—the project, entitled GLASSTRESS, will run during the Venice Biennale, from May 11 – November 26, in two historic venues: Palazzo Franchetti in Venice, and a converted furnace in the Murano Factory on Murano Island.

GLASSTRESS is an ongoing project that has been presented alongside the Biennale since 2009, inviting artists every two years to strike new works entirely out of Murano glass, famous for its original ties to The Floating City.

Berengo Studio Glassmasters working on a Tony Cragg sculpture. Image Courtesy of Fondazione Berengo.

Berengo Studio Glassmasters working on a Tony Cragg sculpture. Image Courtesy of Fondazione Berengo.

Curated by Dimitry Ozerkof, Herwig Kempinger, and Adriano Berengo, GLASSTRESS 2017 will include installations by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, as well as Brigitte Kowanz and Erwin Wurm, who are representing Austria in this year’s pavilion. The works will be on view in the gardens and interior of the Palazzo Franchetti.

Meanwhile, at the Murano Glass Factory, artist Loris Gréaud will intervene in the space, updating an abandoned glass furnace for new use in his installation The Unplayed Notes Factory.

About half of the artists included in GLASSTRESS 2017 are toying with the fragile medium for the first time, including Ai Weiwei, Ugo Rondinone, Dustin Yellin, and Karen LaMonte, among others. The remainder are returning participants to the inventive, if untraditional, project.

A full list of participating artists is as follows:

Ai Weiwei
Charles Avery
Dike Blair
Monica Bonvicini
Tony Cragg
Erin Dickson
Paul McCarthy
Jan Fabre
Josepha Gasch-Muche
Abdulnasser Gharem
Loris Gréaud
Halim Al-Karim
Shirazeh Houshiary
Brigitte Kowanz
Alicja Kwade
Karen LaMonte
Vik Muniz
Jaume Plensa
Laure Prouvost
Monira Al-Qadiri
Ugo Rondinone
Thomas Schütte
Sarah Sze
Koen Vanmechelen
Sabine Wiedenhofer
Erwin Wurm
Dustin Yellin

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