On the 8th September 2020, the B&C Club hosted a webinar with Nadia Romain live from Fondazione Berengo in Murano Venice.
We had the opportunity to view the stunning exhibition UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS, an exhibition which reflects the wealth of contemporary female artists creating works of art in glass.
Featuring visionaries from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Iran, and South Korea in an ambitious line-up, the exhibition explored the endless creative possibilities of glass and the infinite variety of work produced by female artists who continue to be side-lined in the art world.
Artists included: Cornelia Parker, Judy Chicago, Alice Anderson, Tracey Emin and Orlan amongst others.
Held in the heart of Murano in the Fondazione Berengo Art Space, an old glass furnace, an urban archaeological setting which provides the perfect backdrop for this exhibition featuring over sixty contemporary female artists from around the world.
UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS is a metaphor, a paradox, and a symbol. A provocative proposal by Adriano Berengo curated by Nadja Romain.
Joana Vasconcelos (born 1971 Paris, France) is a Portuguese artist known for her large-scale installations.
Her career has seen a lot of firsts. In 2012, she became the first woman and youngest artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles. The following year, her (floating) pavilion at the Venice Biennale was the first to be curated by women. Later this year, she will become the first artist to install a 12-metre high, interactive wedding cake in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor. Vasconcelos’ often-flamboyant, puzzling work – which has turned tampons into a chandelier and saucepans into stilettos – applies new value to everyday consumables, new perspectives on femininity and new meaning to the term trompe-l’œil.
Influenced by the 1960s Nouveau Réalisme movement, Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, and the symbolic, tactile constructions of Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse, Vasconcelos takes objects and materials from daily life and sets them into new and intricate assemblages. Interested in ideas of womanhood, nationality, and family, she frequently incorporates crafts like knitting and crochet into her art, as well as common Portuguese household items like ceramic figures. For Piano Dentelle (2008), one of Vasconcelos’s most recognizable works, she covered a grand piano in a gorgeous lacy crochet reminiscent of snowflakes.
Lucy Orta is an English contemporary visual artist living and working between London and Paris.
Having studied fashion-knitwear design, Lucy’s sculptural work investigates the boundaries between the body and architecture, exploring their common social factors, such as communication and identity. She uses the media of drawing, couture, sculpture, performance, video, and photography to realize a singular body of work.
Lucy Orta co-founded Studio Orta in 1992 with her husband, the Argentine artist Jorge Orta, and they now work under the co-authorship Lucy + Jorge Orta.
In recognition of their contribution to sustainability, the artists received the Green Leaf Award in 2007 for artistic excellence with an environmental message, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Natural World Museum at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. In 2013 the artists’ monumental Meteoros was selected for the inaugural Terrace Wires public art commission for St Pancras International in London.
In this short interview directly from the glass workshops of Fondazione Berengo, Lucy Orta explains how the lockdown inspired her to create the exhibited masks and the complexity of working with glass. The intensity of the colours and the way the glass captures the light and reflects it, make these works mesmerizing.
Driven by her passion for creativity and cross disciplinary dialogues, Nadja Romain, has collaborated with leading contemporary talents and cultural institutions, including William Eggleston, Matthew Barney, Isaac Julien, Ron Arad, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.
Committed to social progress and women’s empowerment Romain was Co-Chair of Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising (2012) initial campaign to end violence against women and girls. She also serves as an advisor to the board of Women for Women International, and is the founder of U.K. based charity Art, Action, Change and ethical lifestyle brand Everything I Want.
Adriano Berengo, a true Venetian, lives and works in Venice, is the visionary behind Fondazione Berengo, the exhibition GLASSTRESS, and the glass factory Berengo Studio, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. Following in the footsteps of Egidio Costantini and Peggy Guggenheim who introduced outstanding artists such as Max Ernst to Murano glass, Berengo has been championing the innovative use of glass as a medium in contemporary art for over 30 years by inviting more than 300 artists to work with the glass masters in his studio on Murano. At the 2019 Venice Biennale of Arts, three pavilions Austria, Italy, and France all exhibited artworks in glass made in Berengo Studio.