A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva – Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, LE STANZE DEL VETRO, Venice
plus Apr, 09Jul, 29 2018
© 2017 Photographie David GIANCATARINA

A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques curated by Isabelle Reiher and Chiara Bertola

The next Spring exhibition at LE STANZE DEL VETRO, A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva – Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques, will open on the 9th of April 2018. For the first time in the history of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, the project conceived by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung, the exhibition will be at two venues: LE STANZE DEL VETRO and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, with a total of 17 artists exhibiting.

The two chapters of the exhibition, both curated by Isabelle Reiher, Director of the Cirva of Marseilles, and Chiara Bertola, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Querini Stampalia, will end on different dates: 24th of June 2018 at the Fondazione Querini and 29th of July 2018 at LE STANZE DEL VETRO.

The exhibition A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva will concentrate on a selection of 17 artists and designers, among those who have been in residence at the Cirva in the last thirty years, in an attempt to highlight the salient moments of creation.

The artists selected by the two curators, Isabelle Reiher and Chiara Bertola, have only occasionally come into contact with the glass world throughout their careers. For this reason, the results shown in the exhibition are original and surprising, extraordinary yet unpredictable. The meeting between the two seemingly distant realities, in this case contemporary art and glass, allows us to imagine and build a third one: a world in which glass is no longer simply a symbol of tradition, but a depiction of a new landscape and visionary nature.

At LE STANZE DEL VETRO in particular, the history of the Cirva will be presented through the works of 10 artists, who have contributed to forming an important part of its collection, succeeding through the instillment of creativity and experimental capacity. This is how Larry Bell, Pierre Charpin, Lieven De Boeck, Erik Dietman, Tom Kovachevich, Giuseppe Penone, Jana Sterbak, Martin Szekely, Robert Wilson and Terry Winters will find a space dedicated to their world: in each gallery of the exhibition, there will be an underlying detail on how the research and the exercise of each artist in the Marseille workshop have been fundamental to their work.

At the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, in the contemporary spaces of the third floor, the work of eight artists will be presented to show how glass is the translation of a thought, a passage from one state to another and a realisation of a form, which stem from an idea: Dove Allouche, James Lee Byars, Giuseppe Caccavale, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Philippe Parreno, Remo Salvadori, Jana Sterbak and Francisco Tropa. In order to give expression to the glass in as vivid as possible a manner, consonant with the space, Giuseppe Caccavale and Remo Salvadori have been invited to produce two new works at Cirva, which will be exhibited at the Querini Stampalia on the occasion of the exhibition.

In the design of A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva Isabelle Reiher and Chiara Bertola have attempted to combine glass with the natural elements that characterise the environmental system of their cities: Venice and Marseille, both lapped by water, living in light, engaged in the re-imagining of glass, and never oblivious to sound. The exhibition therefore stems from the awareness that glass is not a material but a condition: a visual device that helps to identify something other than its pure form. It allows us to imagine the translation of an idea, to grasp the concretion of a vision’s inner energy, to touch the colour of a profound insight and to show the hardness of a solid that dissolves into brilliance. In this “frozen” landscape born from fire, light, reflections and transparencies are of course pivotal.

 The display of the extraordinary relationship between contemporary art and glass proposed by Isabelle Reiher and Chiara Bertola will be further elaborated on a special occasion: on the 22nd of May 2018 a conversation is scheduled with some of the artists of A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva.

 Designed as a research laboratory, the Cirva – Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les artes plastiques was established in Marseille in 1986 as a non-for-profit state entity to host international artists, designers and architects wishing to introduce glass to their creative process. These artists, who are often confronted with a difficult to master material for the first time, develop their designs assisted by the Cirva technical team.

Over thirty years, Cirva has hosted around 200 artists for various projects in the fields of contemporary art, design and decorative arts. It also owns a collection of 700 works exhibited in museums and art centers all over the world.

A Furnace in Marseille. Cirva – Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques will be accompanied by a catalogue, edited by Isabelle Reiher and Chiara Bertola, published by Skira.