Anne Peabody (BFA89) is among the artists invited to present their work in Glass Stress, an official exhibition of the 53rd Venice Biennale – and she has the internet to thank.
Peabody said a simple web search directed curators for the exhibit to her personal website. After seeing her work online, they asked her to send more images and a statement.
"I didn't hear back for a couple months and had sort of written it off," Peabody said. "When they called to tell me I had gotten in, it was like a dream."
Glass Stress celebrates the use of glass in contemporary art, exploring the relationship between the artist and the material. The exhibition features both specifically commissioned new work and selected pieces by more than 35 artists, and is being held in the historic Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti from June 7 through November 22, 2009.
Curators chose Peabody's piece "My Sidewalk" for inclusion in the show. The muse for her work literally came from the ground up several years ago. When she moved to Brooklyn in 2001, she recalled being "discouraged" initially, because New York didn't have the same physical beauty she had come to appreciate in her previous home of Lexington, Kentucky, where she had been painting landscapes.
"I was looking down a lot, feeling uninspired, when I started to notice the daily changes in the sidewalk right beneath my feet," Peabody said. "I started making drawings of the litter I found on 10 panels of the walk in front of my apartment."
Peabody then made those same drawings on glass, and adhered silver leaf to the finished product. "The result is mirror-like, so that everyone sees something different when they look at it," Peabody said. "Everyone sees himself in the picture."
Glass Stress is presented by Venice Projects, organized by Murano-based art impresario Adriano Berengo and curated by Laura Mattioli Rossi and Rosa Barovier Mentasti. Other artists in the show are: Josef Albers, Jean Arp, Barbara Bloom, Louise Bourgeois, Sergio Bovenga, Lawrence Carroll, Cesar, Soyeon Cho, Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Francesco Gennari, Dan Graham, Richard Hamilton, Mona Hatoum, Seul Hye Rim Lee, Mimmo Jodice, Marya Kazoun, Joseph Kosuth, Raimund Kummer, Rita McBride, ORLAN, Jean Michel Othoniel, Luca Pancrazzi, Anton Pevsner, Jauma Plensa, Man Ray, Silvano Rubino, Jana Sterbak, Lino Tagliapietra, Koen Vanmechelen, and Kimiko Yoshida.