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Glass Fever. Contemporary art in glass

"Glass Fever. Contemporary art in glass " is a big event, an exhibition organized at different locations, that will be inaugurated on April 30, 2016 in the city of Dordrecht (the Netherlands), the oldest municipality in the country, and that will have as protagonist the Murano glass.

The exhibition is dedicated to the artistic vision of Adriano Berengo, owner since 25 years of the homonymous furnace, which finds in glass and in the Murano glass masters’ knowledge a fertile environment for research.

The principal purpose of “Glass Fever. Contemporary art in glass” is to allow the general public and art lovers to understand the high quality achieved by Murano masters.

In fact, the organizers of the exhibition aim to make it clear to visitors that even the most daring techniques and visual experiments in the glass artworks of contemporary artists, are firmly rooted in the history of Murano, as for centuries the Murano Masters have consistently worked to innovate both the stylistic forms and the technical solutions. 

The section of the exhibition devoted to the Museo del Vetro historical glasses has therefore the aim to illustrate the long tradition of glass making in Murano, through some representative groups of glass artefacts, and of course to inspire the general public to deepen their knowledge about the site itself and its history.

Seeing the ancient artworks, the public will understand that the possibility of helping the imagination of contemporary artists with an ancient technique that has been evolving through centuries distinguishes Murano from other production sites in the world.

This is also why the Berengo Studio is inviting for 25 years artists from around the world to come and design their own glass works in Murano and why a section of historical glasses helps to explain his career. 

Having seen the historical glasses section, the public will appreciate even more the works exposed in the rest of the exhibition, that are in a sense heirs of the ancient Murano Maestri techniques.  


The Path

The exhibition is divided in different locations, Dordrechts Museum, DordtYart, Huis Van Gijn and Dordts Patriciërshuis and some public places, where the public can address from different points of view the issue of a dialogue between contemporary art and glass.

In Dordrechts Museum the path of interpretation, chosen to accommodate the history and nature of the museum, will be the clash between old and contemporary art, as the dialogue between glass art and paintings. Among the 35 selected artists:  Luigi Benzoni, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tony Cragg, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Marya Kazoun, ORLAN, Mimmo Paladino, Javier Pérez, Wael Shawky, Shan Shan Sheng, Lino Tagliapietra, Gavin Turk, Koen Vanmechelen, Fred Wilson, Erwin Wurm.

In DordtYart, the art laboratory of the city which has been object of the industrial recovery of an old shipyard, the focus will be on large installations by artists such as Koen Vanmechelen, the creative process with works made especially for this exhibition on Murano and the art of glassblowing with a glass furnace built in the main hall. 

In the same location, the public will be able to admire other great works and installations which resulted from the "Artist Residence" at the Fondazione Berengo by Rossella Biscotti, Folkert de Jong, Zoro Feigl, Thomáš Libertíny  and Giny Vos, as well as the sculptures by the international artists such as Pino Castagna, Soyeon Cho, Zhang Huan, Kate McGwire, Atelier Ted Noten, Recycle Group, Joana Vasconcelos.

In the spectacular museum-houses Huis Van Gijn and Dordts Patriciërshuis some carefully selected contemporary works will interact with the historic ambiance, so visitors can admire, among others, the works of Elvira Bach, Luigi Benzoni, Kiki van Eijk, Kiki Kogelnik, Ruud Schoemacker, Lolita Timofeeva and Bertil Vallien inserted in environments with original furnishings of the noble houses of Dordrecht.

The collection of glass objects selected from del Museo del Vetro collections will be displayed in Dordts Patriciërshuis.