Berengo Studio in association with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia is honoured to present the exhibition Tony Cragg. Silicon Dioxide at the Museo del Vetro. The first exhibition ever dedicated to Cragg’s innovative use of glass and his first on the island of Murano, the event provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this award-winning artist and highlight his unique approach to this ancient medium in the field of contemporary art.
Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949 and first came to Venice in 1980. Little did he realise it would be the first in a series of encounters with the floating city. As his career progressed he featured in a number of editions of the Venice Biennale of Art, and in 1988 he had the double honour of winning the prestigious Turner Prize and representing Britain at the National Pavilion in the Biennale gardens.
In 2009 he began collaborating with Berengo Studio, and featured in the first edition of Glasstress in the Palazzo Franchetti as part of an official collateral event of the Biennale. As the years progressed he continued to experiment with the medium with the help of Berengo’s glass maestros. Although he had worked with glass before, most famously in his large-scale assemblages (several of which will be featured in this exhibition), it was only when he began to work with Berengo that Cragg began to seriously develop a series of artworks using the artisanal skills of master glassblowers to create original sculptures in glass. Whereas older works tend to lean upon found forms, such as the glass bottle, the more recent works are smaller and more intricate in their approach to form.
An internationally renowned sculptor Cragg treats glass without the reverence other artists might, he treats it like any other material, and this is one of the reasons his work continues to resonate so strongly with Berengo and the Studio’s mission to promote the use of glass within the world of contemporary art. Cragg has spoken often about the importance of emotions in his work, that to provoke an emotional reaction and to engage emotionally with a material is part and parcel of his aesthetic vision. “It’s like looking at somebody, and you’re reading their face and their movements, and you feel you have ideas about them, you have emotions about them, but it’s the same with drawing, it’s the same with glass.” Cragg notes, “So once you start that journey, you don’t really know where you’re going, the best thing is to not know where that journey is going to take you, and suddenly you arrive in a new situation, that’s really what I’m interested in.”
If you’re in Venice between now and March 2022 make sure to stop by Murano and visit the Museo del Vetro to experience this unique exhibition first hand.
Tony Cragg. Silicon Dioxide runs from the 3 of December 2021 to the 13 of March 2022 at the Museo del Vetro, Murano.