Wednesday February 1, 2017 | by Awura Ama Barnie-Duah

OPENING: Berengo’s Glasstress project comes to Boca Raton, Florida

Adriano Berengo is back with another Glasstress exhibition, this time in partnership with an art museum in Boca Raton, Florida. Known for bringing artists who don't usually utilize glass as a medium together with his team of glass maestros in Murano, Berengo has built Glasstress into an art-world brand since it debuted as a collateral exhibition at the 2009 Venice Bienalle. In addition to his Glasstress exhibits at the international exhibition, Berengo has also been developing "Glasstress World" in which Berengo Project artists display their work in partnership with major museums around the globe.

In his various projects through Fondazione Berengo, or The Berengo Foundation, Berengo has set out to prove that the medium of glass is a medium of expression for some of the top contemporary artists in the world, and has partnered with those who don't typically utilize this art form to defy traditional labels. This year's "Glasstress World" exhibit is being held at The Boca Raton Museum of Art which is displaying 43 works by 33 artists who currently live and work in 23 different countries. Among the featured artists is South Florida-based mixed-media artist Carol Prusa whose work Spooky Action was fabricated on Murano. Prusa's work deals with abstract concepts of the known and unknown, cosmologies, and interconnectedness.

“Glasstress challenges our notion of glass as a beautiful material and encourages us to explore the bold, political, and sometimes less than pristine aspects of the medium,” Boca Raton Museum of Art curator of contemporary art Kathleen Goncharov said in a prepared statement.

In an email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, Laura Bresolin, art director at Fondazione Berengo as well as Berengo Studio, said that the works that Goncharov selected were previously presented in earlier Biennale editions of Glassstress. "The idea of itinerant Glasstress editions around the world is to present to other countries 'the best of Glasstress' as selected by local curators" said Bresolin. 

Other artists being showcased include Chinese artist Song Dong's surveillance camera chandelier entitled Glass Big Brother; British artist Luke Jerram and his intricately crafted viruses from his Glass Microbiology series; Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou (who now lives and works in Belgium) will use glass reproductions of tourist trinkets and Dutch motifs to address colonialism in his Colonne Coloniale; Lucy & Jorge Orta, who live and work in France but originated, respectively, from the UK and Argentina, with their Perpetual Amazonia: Tree of Life to highlight environmental threats in the Peruvian Amazon. Together, these artists and dozens more delve into a myriad of social and scientific challenges as they explore the reaches of glass as a medium.

The Berengo Foundation, thanks to its relationship with The State Heritage Museum of St. Petersburg, dating back to 2015, a future St. Petersburg edition of Glasstress may be in the works. Also, there are talks for a possible exhibit in China.

The exhibition opened with a Carnevale di Venezia celebration at The Boca Raton Museum of Art on January 28th. The Glasstress exhibition is accompanied by a full schedule of educational programs and events. Tickets can be found on the museum's website.

Glasstress Boca Raton will be on view through July 2, 2017.

Glasstress Boca Raton
January 31 - July 2, 2017
501 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, Florida 
Tel: 561.392.2500

GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.