The impact of the exhibition "VIdrio COntemporáneo INTERnacional" ("VICOINTER'83"), held at the Feria de Valencia in 1983, is a before and after on the pathway of the history of glass art in our country. Although since the early twentieth century some creators had used glass in the language of plastic expression of their artistic universe, as was the case of Gaudí or Jujol, and others, later, also took into account this material as a means of artistic expression (Pablo Picasso, Leandre Cristòfol, Jorge Oteiza or Antoni Tàpies), the truth is that until then the work in glass had been linked, unfailingly, to the production of crafts and decorative arts pieces.
When Joaquín Torres Esteban (Santa María de Nieva, Segovia, 1919 - Madrid, 1988) organized the exhibition "VICOINTER'83" and presented the works of 127 glassmakers, something really unusual in Spain took place. The success of this call, which presented works from the glassmaking tradition of 21 countries, inspired Torres even more to strongly encourage the creation of a museum dedicated to the New Glass Movement in the National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts "Gonzalez Marti" in Valencia.
"The Emergence of Contemporary Glass Art. Recalling 'VICOINTER ’83'" will present, in two main areas, this magnificent legacy and the impact this artistic trend has had in our country.
The exhibition follows the thread of the content of Chapter III of the doctoral thesis that the curator read at the University of Valencia in 2016: Sculpture and glass: Spain (1975-1995). New Glass Movement.
On one hand (Area I) works that are now preserved in the Glass Technology Museum of the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja (Segovia) will be exhibited and we will learn more about Joaquín Torres Esteban and the participants invited to Valencia in 1983, both Spanish and foreign. In Area II we will see some examples of artists and creators who have seen glass as a means of expression and we will be made aware of technical aspects as well.
The declaration of the technique of blown glass in Spain as a Representative Manifestation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Royal Decree 506/2021 of July 6) and the approval of 2022 as International Year of Glass (May 18, 2021), make this exhibition an event of indisputable international news that allows us to become aware of the importance that this discipline in the history of contemporary art had and has.
On the other hand, the city of Valencia will be the World Design Capital in 2022. This fact will highlight the many possibilities that this material offers in this regard.
The National Museum of Ceramics and the Cerralbo Museum, both state-owned museums, want to come together, from Valencia and Madrid, at this crucial moment in the history of glass art and pay tribute to Torres Esteban, a pioneer of Studio Glass in Spain, whose imprint on the artistic creation of the 80s in Madrid was indelible.
Subdirección General de Museos Estatales
Museo Nacional de Cerámica
Museo Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio, La Granja
Cristina Giménez Raurell
National Museum of Ceramics, Valencia: December, 16, 2021-March, 27, 2022.
Cerralbo Museum, Madrid: April, 5-July, 1, 2022.
Location: National Museum of Ceramics. Temporary exhibition rooms I, ground floor.
Opening: Thursday, 16 December 2021.
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