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Demetrio Paparoni Defines Glasstress 2011

Demetrio Paparoni brings his creative expertise and vision to Glasstress 2011. Here, he explains the undeniable ties between art, architecture, and design.

Demetrio Paparoni with Glasstress artist, Domenico Bianchi

Demetrio on Glasstress 2011
The theme of this year’s exhibition is the complex relationship that ties art, design and architecture together in an age thought to have moved beyond modernism. Comparing the opinions of various curators, Glasstress addresses this issue through glass sculptures specially made by major artists on the contemporary scene and through objects and sculptures made by designers, whose research was influenced by the formal aspect of the use of the object.

Putting glassworks that respond to such profoundly different concepts next to each other in the same show is the equivalent of reviving critical issues that are far from resolved: What makes an object that is formally conditioned by its function a work of art? To respond to the spirit of the time, must a work refer only to itself? Can we say today that the function of a design object is itself enough to make the work alien to the spirit of the time regardless of its formal qualities? These questions, which are the basis of the 2011 Glasstress project, call into question the notion of “art for art’s sake” so dear to the 20th century avant-gardes.

Glasstress 2011 offers the viewer food for thought about complex themes. It poses the need for a critical reassessment of the main tenets of modernism, the majority of which were still very much present in the art of the eighties and questioned in the next decade by the second generation of post-modernism. Glasstress 2011 demonstrates just how topical these themes still are and the need to explore them further.

About Demetrio Paparoni

Demetrio Paparoni was born in Siracusa in 1954. He lives in Milan. An art critic, essayist and exhibition curator, he is the author of monographs and books on contemporary art theory. In the early 1980s he created the Tema Celeste magazine, which he directed until April 2000. He was, among other things, commissioner for the Italian pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 1993. He taught the History of Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Architecture in Catania from 1996 to 2008.

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Michael Petry Hard at Work

Glasstress 2011 artist, Michael Petry is an internationally exhibited multi-media artist, and co-director of the Museum of Installation, London. He was born in El Paso, Texas, and has lived in London since 1981. He received a BA at Rice University (Houston), an MA at London Guildhall University, and is finishing his Dr Arts at Middlesex University. He lectures part time at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools and was Guest Curator at the KunstAkademi, Oslo, and Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton. Petry is represented by the Sundaram Tagor Gallery, New York, the Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston and the Westbrook Gallery, London.

Petry is the Director of the MOCA, London Museum of Contemporary Art, and the curator of the Royal Academy Schools Gallery. In addition to temporary exhibitions and installations at several museums and galleries, such as the Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, Petry’s works are included in public collections throughout the world including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Toledo Museum of Art, the British Museum, London; The National Collection, UK, the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublick Deutschland, Bonn, the Bellerive Museum, Zurich, The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, Rogaland Kunstmuseum, Stavanger, Norway, The Gallery of Art, Legnica, Poland and the Leopold Hoesch Museum, Duren, Germany


Nabil Nahas’ First Time

Earlier this week in Murano, we had an incredible visit from prominent Lebanese painter, Nabil Nahas. Nabil grew up in Cairo and Beirut, moved to the United States to study and earned his MFA from Yale University. Encounters with contemporary painters at Yale influenced Nahas to move to New York where he has exhibited regularly and received critical acclaim for his work. Nahas uses geometric motifs and decorative patterns inspired by the rich history of Islamic art. At the same time, Nahas is thoroughly educated in the tradition of Western abstract painting. These two poles combine quite provocatively in his work, seamlessly fusing into brightly-colored paintings suggestive of the richness of nature. In his most recent work, Nahas surprisingly introduces recognizable forms of cedar, pine and olive trees native to Lebanon, his most direct reference yet to his native land. His retrospective, Nabil Nahas: Perpetual Energy opened this summer is the inaugural exhibition at the Beirut Exhibition Center, an exhibition created by eminent American art critic Vincent Katz and sponsored by Solidčre.

Nabil’s recent visit to Berengo Studios to create his works for Glasstress 2011 was also the artist’s first time creating works in glass. We are lucky to have his debut exploration in a new medium and proud that he, along with Marya Kazoun, will represent Middle East excellence at the exhibition.

1300 Degrees of Separation


Berlin Welcomes New Glass Facility

Part of our goal with Glasstress is to be sure that glass becomes widely recognized as a serious contemporary medium. We’re always happy to see some of the world’s greatest cities embracing the art form. Coincidentally, Berlin – along with Detroit, Glasgow, Mexico City, was one of the major cities honored at this year’s Art Basel Miami for their growing prominence in contemporary art. Check out this story originally posted in Glass Quarterly!

. Established as a nonprofit in 2009, Berlin Glas is scheduled to open in 2011 in an industrial space that is still being renovated to accommodate a glass facility. The inspiration for the founding of Berlin Glas was the lack of opportunities to work in glass in Germany, where the only option for many artists is to connect with the few glass programs at universities or rented space in glass factories.


As Berlin continues to grow in prominence as a center for contemporary art, Idriss also wanted to make sure there was a glass studio that “will provide an exchange between artists working with glass and the abundance of talents that are already in practice in the city.” To that end, the new facility is being set up in Mitte, which is located close to the arts district of Berlin.

The international roster of project organizers of Berlin Glas include Nadania Idriss, founder and director; Ryan Marsh Fairweather, gaffer and special projects Canada; Philip Bandura, gaffer and special projects Canada; Tim Bellivau, gaffer and special projects Canada; Hans-Martin Lorch, secretary; Miriam Kühn, fundraising and grantwriting; Youseff Khoury, architect, Scott Chaseling, artistic director; Jeff Ballard, gaffer and special projects USA; and Jay Macdonell, gaffer.