Dedicated to the continuation of the Murano glassmaking practice, GLASSTRESS was first presented alongside the Venice Biennale in 2009. Organized by the Fondazione Berengo, the program invites selected artists to construct their own glassworks in Venice’s historic Palazzo Franchetti and the Murano Factory on Murano Island.
Traditionally, Murano glass was forged on the Venetian island of Murano. It’s a centuries-old artistic practice that incorporates glass blown with intricate threads of gold or layered with colors and patterns. Murano glassmakers continue the tradition in the form of sculptures, figurines, and souvenir-ready items like paper weights and wine-stoppers.
This year’s edition of GLASSTRESS will showcase installations by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm and Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, amongst others, exhibited throughout the Palazzo Franchetti. At the Murano Glass Factory, French artist Loris Gréaud will use the formerly-abandoned furnace for his installation titled The Unplayed Notes Factory.
Major contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei and Ugo Rondinone will experiment with the medium for the first time, while approximately half of this year’s participants will return to the craft and create something new. Other notable participants include American performance and installation artist Paul McCarthy, English sculptor Tony Cragg, New York-based multimedia artist Sarah Sze, and Brazilian multimedia artist Vik Muniz.