October 5 – December 3 2023
IV International Biennale of Glass (IBG) Sofia, Bulgaria
Places: National Gallery, UniArt Gallery, Scredets Gallery Sofia
In addition to the selected 20 works from 49 countries, the Dutch embassy in Sofia presents an additional exhibition of five Dutch glass artists at the National Gallery in Sofia.
For this, Barbara Nanning, Jenny Ritzenhoff, Bert Frijns, Han de Kluijver and Jan Hein van Stiphout have been invited. The 20 objects of those selected will be transported from a central point in the Netherlands to Sofia at the expense of the organisation and the Dutch embassy. Those selected will still be informed about this.
Barbara Nanning combines tradition and innovation in her three-dimensional sculptures. New, inventive techniques are created in cooperation with the most experienced glass blowers from the Czech Republic. Besides the traditional techniques, which form the basis of her art practice, experimentation is of great importance to Barbara Nanning. She always tries to capture colour and light in glass in new ways. Nature is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The artist tries to capture the movement in nature and bring it to a standstill; a snapshot captured in a glass object.
Jenny Ritzenhoff ‘s work is about emergence, growth, decay and new emergence. She manages to surprise again and again by exploring the material to the bottom. She processually analyses the passage from one form to another, with leeway between architecture and art. The process to the sculpture is the sculpture and with this she takes an interesting step into contemporary glass art.
For Bert Frijns, glass, water, light and movement are the key elements in his work. With these ingredients, the visual artist has been working for three decades with a minimalist simplicity and a strong sense of poetry. The beauty lies in stripping it of any frills or ornamentation. Frijns’ minimalist work belongs to fundamental art. He explores the fundamental principles of form, colour, size and technique. The final creation seems simple, but in reality it is preceded by a long process.
With his glass objects, Han de Kluijver, architect by profession, wants to bridge the gap between architecture and sculpture. Architecture cannot be fiction, art can. Unlike architectural buildings, his glass objects only have a visual function. But they do tell a story and are conceptual like no building could be. As an architect, you create space using glass walls and facades. His glass objects only create space in a figurative sense. They are a metaphor of the literal experience of space provided by architecture.
The son of a glazier, Jan Hein van Stiphout grew up with glass. Although he received classical art training in drawing and sculpture, and by his own admission did not necessarily work in glass, glass was always and everywhere present. ‘It is an easy material for me to shape my ideas in,’ he says. It even offers the possibility of working true to nature while the wonder or alienation remains palpable. This is also reflected in the flowers that are part of his new work.