Glasstress: White Light | White Heat
27.11.2013 – 23.02.2014
This exhibition presents a selection of works from the recent collateral event at the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Adriano Berengo and James Putnam, Senior Research Fellow, LCF. It is a unique collaboration between the college and the Berengo Glass Studio in Venice and is exhibited in London both at the Fashion Space Gallery and the Wallace Collection.
Glasstress: White Light | White Heat presents newly commissioned work of some of today’s major and emerging contemporary artists, most of whom are working in glass for the first time. The 2013 Glasstress exhibition builds on the success of two previous Venice Art Biennale Glasstress shows in 2009 and 2011, while this is the first time that the work has toured to the UK. The 2013 exhibition in Venice comprised works by 65 artists responding to the theme of light and heat, the components of fire, the fundamental elements involved in the formation of the universe and also the essence of glassblowing. Light is integral to our perception of glass, while heat is required to shape it.
Glass is a magical and un-exploited medium for artists to work with because unlike any other material it has such a vast range of possible appearances - it can be bright or dull, coloured, transparent, mirrored and metallic or take any number of surface treatments and textures. Besides traditional hand blown glass, the exhibition includes works in moulded glass fabricated with the latest technology, significant not only for their aesthetic appeal but because they illustrate the ever blurring of boundaries and collaborations between art and fashion and art and science. This selection shown at the Fashion Space Gallery includes works by Boudicca, Hussein Chalayan, Lucy & Jorge Orta and Helen Storey whose practice bridges the boundaries between fashion and art.
Other new works included in the exhibition at the Fashion Space Gallery are by Alice Anderson, Mat Collishaw, Iyvonne Khoo, Oksana Mas, Javier Pérez, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Gavin Turk and Koen Vanmechelen.
Works at the Wallace Collection include Polly Apfelbaum, Miroslaw Balka, Mat Chivers, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Paul Fryer, Recycle Group, Mona Hatoum, Charlotte Hodes, Michael Joo, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, Hew Locke, Alastair Mackie, Aldo Mondino, Cornelia Parker, Thomas Schütte, Meekyoung Shin and Koen Vanmechelen.
The Berengo Studio was founded in Murano, Venice by Adriano Berengo in 1989, with the first works created in collaboration with artists in 1993, inspired largely by Peggy Guggenheim’s fascination in the artistic possibilities of glass. Guggenheim encouraged modernist artists like Kokoschka, Picasso, Braque, Chagall and Max Ernst, to experiment with Venetian glass, feeling that it should not be relegated to the purely decorative. Venice has been supreme in glassblowing since medieval times and the beauty of the glass made there has been attributed to the composition of the salt and soda in the Italian silica, the type of wood used to fire the furnace and the salt composition from the ocean water used. Through the Glasstress exhibitions the Berengo Studio has offered contemporary artists the chance to explore this fascinating medium. Adriano Berengo has also created a prize that allows University of the Arts alumni to produce a work in glass to be fabricated at his studio and exhibited as part of Glasstress: White Light / White Heat in Venice. One of these works by Iyvonne Khoo is on show at the Fashion Space Gallery.
Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice Chancellor, LCF stated: “We wanted to create a collaboration with Berengo Studio and The Wallace Collection to help change perceptions about all of our disciplines – craftsmanship, glassmaking and fashion. Fashion is such a transformative medium: we all use it to change the way we look and express ourselves. The artists in our exhibition are transforming glass, ‘fashioning’ it into something that carries so much more meaning than the raw material. There is an exciting alchemy at work here.”
A major publication from the London College of Fashion accompanies the exhibition Glasstress: White Light / White Heat and is available priced £17.95
Curator: James Putnam
Assistant Curator: Lauren Jones
Project Coordinator: Ben Whyman
Graphic Design: Freytag Anderson
Project Administrator: Laura Thornley
Exhibition locations and visiting times
Fashion Space Gallery
1st Floor, London College of Fashion
20 John Prince’s Street
London W1G 0BJ
27 November – 22 February 2014
Closed Sundays and 24 December 2013 – 2 January 2014
The Wallace Collection
London W1U 3BN
27 November – 23 February
Closed 24 - 26 December 2013