The exhibition «Glasstress. Window to the Future» opened on September 11, 2021 in the General Staff Building of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. This is one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions, occupying more than ten halls in area. In 2009, Venetian Studio launched the Glasstress project, within which more than three hundred artists, designers, architects, painters from all over the world, with the help of Murano glassblowers, have embodied their most diverse images in glass.

Joana Vasconcelos; Babylon; 2013–2016; Mixed media; Courtesy Patrizia Spadafora, Spafin company and Berengo Studio. ©State Hermitage.

The exposition strives to shed light on the most ancient glassmaking technique, showcasing its possible. It not only boasts most beautiful objects made of Murano glass, but also names of famous world artists of our time, such as Ai Weiwei, Renata Bertelman, Jack & Dinos Chapman, César, Tim Tate and others.

In each artwork the viewer can see  games of color and space, light and movement, as well as current topics of modern society: the position of women in the world, historical events, consumerism of the modern society.

Karen LaMonte; Reclining Nocturne 4; 2018; Cast glass; Courtesy the artist. ©State Hermitage.

Karen LaMonte in her works «Nocturnes» focuses on the expression of iconic female beauty in fashion and figurative sculpture. To produce the exhibits, she first created dresses using fabric that turns into glass in craftsmen’s workshops.

Aesthetics of the beauty in unusual manifestations can be found in the works of Lino Tagliapietra («La danza»), Petah Coyne («Untitled №1396 (Catherine the Great»).

«Black Chandelier in Murano Glass» by Ai Weiwei is one of the most unusual works of the exhibition. A glass assemblage of human skulls, skeletons, animal bones, internal organs, and crabs, this art work reimagines a classic Venetian glass chandelier. This masterpiece reminds us of human-made disasters – the pandemic, the end of which is not in sight, and global climate change.

Op de Beeck Hans, Frozen Vanitas ©State Hermitage

«Glasstress. Window to the Future» is not just an exhibition, it is a unique union of artists from all over the world brought together by working with Venetian glass.

Date: 11 September 2021 – 31 October 2021

General Staff Building of the Hermitage, Palace Square, 6-8, St. Petersburg