Simon Berger’s Shattering Beauty exhibition in Murano
Swiss artist Simon Berger has a solo show at the Museo del Vetro of Murano, Italy featuring artworks that explore the fragility of the human condition. Around 20 original pieces make up the ‘Shattering Beauty’ exhibition, which is on now until 7 May 2023.
The exhibition, curated by Sandrine Welte and Chiara Squarcina in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and Berengo Studio, is conceived as an immersive installation where visitors are invited to lose themselves among glass cubes and sculptures of varying dimensions.
The installation also features several glass portraits, created using the technique the artist calls ‘morphogenesis’, which has made Berger an international name.
In his hyper realistic portraits Berger recreates the lines of the human face by breaking the glass using tools such as a hammer to etch and draw haunting human faces. Reinforced safety glass, which has a crucial layer of plastic as its core, ensures that the material, though broken, stays in place. This highly controlled sculptural technique originates from the artist’s classical training in carpentry and demonstrates how many artists are translating techniques from other mediums into the world of glass.
Berger’s unique technique of deliberate ‘shattering’ contradicts years of teaching, whereby broken glass has been seen as wasted or ruined. On the contrary, he instead turns the material’s so-called weakness into its most vital asset. Its ability to break becomes reframed as its ability to change, to be altered, and to be recast as something new. To watch the artist create these works is to witness a vivid ‘performance’. The shattering of the material is not an end point for Berger, but just the beginning.
‘Shattering Beauty’ is on at the Glass Museum, Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano, Italy. More information via this link.
Image: Cubes featuring faces made up of cracked glass feature in the exhibition.