29 August 2016 | 10 °C

Spectacular Art Made From Glass In Glasstress

Spectacular Art Made From Glass In Glasstress
Helen Storey, The Dress of Glass

In collaboration with The Royal Society of Chemistry, London College of Fashion, Helen Storey Foundation and University of Sheffield
and FlamePyrex Glass
Helen Storey, The Dress of Glass In collaboration with The Royal Society of Chemistry, London College of Fashion, Helen Storey Foundation and University of Sheffield and FlamePyrex Glass
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Marta Klonowska, The Fish, 2013
Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Marta Klonowska, The Fish, 2013 Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Shih Chieh Huang, Seductive Evolution of Animated Illumination, 2013. Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Shih Chieh Huang, Seductive Evolution of Animated Illumination, 2013. Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Alastair	Mackie, All The Colours At Once, 2013
Courtesy of All Visual Arts.
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Alastair Mackie, All The Colours At Once, 2013 Courtesy of All Visual Arts.
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Cai Guo	Quiang, Full-Body Scan, 2013
Glass
Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Cai Guo Quiang, Full-Body Scan, 2013 Glass Courtesy of the artist
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Paul Fryer, Nebula, 2012
© Paul Fryer
GLASSTRESS: White Light White Heat - Paul Fryer, Nebula, 2012 © Paul Fryer

The world's largest art fair, the Venice Biennale, has just finished and coming to us fresh from exhibiting is Glastress: White Light / White Heat. Keeping with the style in which it was displayed over in Italy, this exhibition is displayed across two nearby spaces.

Glass is a material usually used to create functional products but this exhibition explores whether it can transcend this utilitarian niche and create breathtaking contemporary art. Venice is famed for its Murano glass so this display was particularly fitting for the Biennale, but can it be just as effective in London?

In the Wallace Collection there are some items that feel a little decorative but others that play with our preconceived notions about glass; Tracey Emin's cat looks so dark and solid it's hard to believe that it is actually fragile. The two strongest works here relate to water as Paul Fryer appears to have preserved the moment a drop hits the water's surface and the Recycle Group has a glass mouth breathing bubbles underwater.

Over at the Fashion Space the highlight is Helen Storey's glass dress with a fire burning within its heart, both an exquisite work of art and a nod to how the dress was created.

It's  a real shame that more of the Biennale exhibition hasn't made it across as it had some stunning works that haven't made the trip.  As it is, the exhibition has quite a few strong works but the collection is missing some key pieces and sadly, it shows.

Glasstress: White Light / White Heat is on at Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion, 20 John Prince's Street, W1G 0BJ and Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN. Both exhibitions are on until 22 February and are free to enter.

Last Updated 13 July 2015

Tabish Khan

Article by Tabish Khan | 910 articles | View Profile | Twitter

Cameleopard

Tabish, I love the exhibitions that you're finding just lately, particularly the insects made out of recycled materials earlier this week, and now this glass exhibition. Thank you!

Millie

gorgeous. I'll pop in! thanks!