Unbreakable: women in glass

Informazioni Evento

San Marco 2847 | Campo Santo Stefano 30124 , Venezia, Italia
Dal al
arte contemporanea

Mostra della Fondazione Berengo.

Comunicato stampa

Fondazione Berengo is proud to present UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS, an exhibition that 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, UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS explores the endless creative possibilities of glass and the infinite variety of work produced by female artists who continue to be sidelined in the art world.

UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS features over sixty contemporary female artists from around the world who have worked with Berengo Studio in its furnaces on Murano for over thirty years since the Studio’s foundation in 1989. The exhibition will be 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 wide range of works from the Berengo archives and a number of new artworks created specifically for the exhibition.

“UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS is a metaphor, a paradox, and a symbol. A provocative proposal by Adriano Berengo to explore the intimate relationship that women have with glass in the heart of Murano” curator Nadja Romain notes. Curator Koen Vanmechelen declares that “It is time to name mythical icons — inspiring artworks signed by women so that history can no longer be stolen. The invisibility and transparency of glass can shape a new generation while healing scars from history.”

To accompany the exhibition a special catalogue will be produced. Contributor Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. observes how "we should treasure spaces in which female artists are able to take centre stage. At The National Museum of Women in the Arts we strive to create space, both symbolically and physically, for female artists. In 2020 many people in the art world would like to believe that we have achieved parity but the truth is we still have a long way to go. This is why spaces celebrating female artists remain so essential, and an exhibition such as UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS is still important even today." Gabriella Belli, Director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, will also contribute to the exhibition’s catalogue.

Agnes Husslein-Arco, another contributor, dives into the gendered history of art in Austria, writing that in the 1900s although “a flagship of Austrian art was in the hands of women” critics viewed it “with a certain unease”. It was only “Kiki Kogelnik, a prominent figure in Austrian post-war art, [who] made glass socially acceptable as an artform again.” Through her work in glass – and collaborations with Berengo – Husslein observes how “Kogelnik was able to transform glass from a functional everyday object to being artistically valued again.”

The book will also include texts by legendary glass master Lino Tagliapietra on his work with female assistants as well as a text by Rosa Barovier Mentasti, who explores the role of women in the history of Murano furnaces.

UNBREAKABLE: WOMEN IN GLASS will feature collaborative works created in the Studio, a range that spans the entirety of its thirty year history. Among them are the Enlightening Books of Italian artist Chiara Dynys. Berengo is honoured to be featuring Dynys in the exhibition, especially after her solo exhibition at the Palazzo Correr at the 2019 Venice Biennale of Arts and her continued dedication to contemporary glass in recent years.

Other works to note are Shirazeh Houshiary’s architectural Flicker, the impressive chandeliers of Joana Vasconcelos, the glass window of Cornelia Parker, and Fiona Banner’s scaffolding. The fantastic sculptures of Kiki Smith and Mona Hatoum exhibited in GLASSTRESS have found permanent homes in private collections so are not on exhibit.


Italian artist Federica Marangoni was the first artist to return to work in Berengo Studio after the worldwide lockdown. Known throughout Italy for her 1980 exhibition at MOMA and her frequent appearances at the Venice Biennale of Arts, for this exhibition she has created two new sculptures titled: Work Monument to the Female Job.

Advanced casting technology also enabled new works to be produced remotely resulting in a new collaboration with the iconic American artists Judy Chicago and Karen LaMonte.

After the success of Renate Bertlmann at the Austrian Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale she now presents a new installation in which she reimagines roses in deep black glass, together with a new installation of the Lebanese artist Marya Kazoun.

New works have also been made by Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Enrica Borghi, Rosemarie Benedikt, Maria Grazia Rosin, Laure Prouvost, Lucy Orta, and Maria Thereza Alves.

To learn more about the work of the featured artists follow us on Instagram for the series #UNBREAKABLE.




Diana Al-Hadid (Syria), Monira Al Qadiri, (Kuwait), Maria Thereza Alves (Brazil), Alice Anderson (UK), Polly Apfelbaum (USA), Elvira Bach (Germany), Patricia Bagniewski (Brazil), Rina Banerjee (India), Fiona Banner (UK), Rosemarie Benedikt (Austria), Pieke Bergmans (Netherlands), Renate Bertlmann (Austria), Monica Bonvicini (Italy), Marion Borgelt (Australia), Enrica Borghi (Italy), Nancy Burson (USA), Penny Byrne (Australia), Judy Chicago (USA), Petah Coyne (USA), Erin Dickson (UK), Chiara Dynys (Italy), Marie-Louise Ekman (Sweden), Tracey Emin (UK), Josepha Gasch-Muche (Germany), Gerda Gruber (Austria), Charlotte Gyllenhammar (Sweden), Charlotte Hodes, (UK), Shirazeh Houshiary (Iran), Ursula Huber (Italy), Marya Kazoun (Lebanon), Marta Klonowska (Poland), Kiki Kogelnik (Austria), Brigitte Kowanz (Austria), Karen LaMonte (USA), Silvia Levenson (Argentina), Federica Marangoni (Italy), Oksana Mas (Ukraine), Kate MccGwire (UK), Denise Milan (Brazil), Liliana Moro (Italy), Prune Nourry (France), ORLAN (France), Lucy Orta (UK), Cornelia Parker (UK), Anne Peabody (USA), Sibylle Peretti (Germany), Laure Prouvost (France), Hye Rim Lee (South Korea), Maria Grazia Rosin (Italy), Yaşam Şaşmazer (Turkey), Joyce J. Scott (USA), Shan Shan Sheng (China), Meekyoung Shin (South Korea), Valeska Soares (Brazil), Ivana Šrámková (Czechia), Lolita Timofeeva (Latvia), Janaina Tschäpe (Germany), Patricia Urquiola (Spain), Kiki van Eijk (Netherlands), Joana Vasconcelos, (Portugal), Ursula von Rydingsvard (Germany), Sabine Wiedenhofer (Austria), Rose Wylie (UK), Yin Xiuzhen (China)


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.


Nadja Romain

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.

Koen Vanmechelen

Internationally renowned contemporary artist, Koen Vanmechelen works at the confluence of art, science, philosophy and social engagement. Best known for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, Vanmechelen connects the seemingly unconnected in an effort to investigate, understand and document how we can bring about positive, practical impact on our moment in time and space. He has also been active as a curator since the 90s, curating among others the international GLASSTRESS exhibitions worldwide, most recently at the Ptuj Art Festival in Slovenia and Biennial of Venice 2019.


Fondazione Berengo sponsors exhibitions and special projects in collaboration with internationally acclaimed artists, designers, and architects. In 2016, it sponsored the first retrospective of the late Dame Zaha Hadid. In 2017, Fondazione Berengo forged a partnership with the Global Campus of Human Rights to explore ways to use art to raise awareness about human rights. In 2018, it brought Ai Weiwei’s enormous sculpture, the Gilded Cage, to the garden of the Palazzo Franchetti, a work commissioned by the New York Public Art Fund and first shown in New York.