Fragile?

Curated by Mario Codognato8th April 2013 - 28th July 2013

The exhibition displays the creations of some of the most interesting artists of our time, who used glass with diverse and contrasting intentions: Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Gilbert & George, Ai Weiwei, Rachel Whiteread, Carsten Nicolai and many more.

On April 8th, 2013, “Fragile?”, an exhibition curated by Mario Codognato, opens to the public on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The exhibition features 28 works of art by internationally renowned artists. In the context of Venetian glassmaking and its peculiar craft connotations, “Fragile?” aims at taking a different yet equally important aspect into account, namely the use of glass as a found object, with specific metaphorical and linguistic features.

Instead of the precise traits of manufactured artworks, other aspects are sought, such as symbolic transparency, fragility and resistance, imprecision and smoothness, along with the construction of elements that draw inspiration from reality and contemporary artistic language. “In the 21st century, because of the historical avant-garde movements, visual arts cease to be a sole mimesis of reality through painting and sculpture – states curator Mario Codognato – by using objects and materials taken from the real world and industrial production, a new metaphoric, yet tautologically concrete, dimension is born. Glass, thanks to its widespread use in architecture and its double nature of transparent medium and at the same time barrier, becomes a new linguistic tool through which to create images.”

“Fragile?” displays the creations of some of the most interesting artists of our time, who used glass with diverse and contrasting intentions: from the provoking gesture of Marcel Duchamp of shutting the air of Paris in a transparent ampoule, to the tragic lyricism of Joseph Beuys’ glass fragments as a witness to the ferociousness of earthquakes, from the transformation of industrial objects into poetical individualities by Luciano Fabro, to the ironic explosion of car windscreens in Pipilotti Rist’s video. Seen as a whole, the works and artists exhibited in “Fragile?” translate the infinite potentialities of glass into unprecedented dialectics, which inevitably have to do with our daily existence as a constitutive element of contemporary artistic language.

“Fragile?” features works by: Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Mario Merz, Gerhard Richter, Giovanni Anselmo, Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Barry le Va, Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Sonnier, Lawrence Weiner, David Hammons, Gilbert & George, Joseph Kosuth, Giuseppe Penone, Mona Hatoum, David Batchelor, Ai Weiwei, Pipilotti Rist, Rachel Whiteread, Carsten Nicolai, Damien Hirst, Monica Bonvicini, Ceal Floyer, Cyril de Commarque, Matias Feldbakken, Walead Beshty, Claire Fontaine.

 

View the catalogue

  • Installation view, Cyril de Commarque (left), Mona Hatoum (right). Photo: Matteo De Fina. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO
  • Installation view, Marcel Duchamp (left), Ai Weiwei (right). Photo: Matteo De Fina. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO
  • Installation view, Pipilotti Rist. Photo: Matteo De Fina. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO
  • Installation view, David Hammons. Photo: Matteo De Fina. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO