Karl Marx wrote in 1845 that “only in community with others has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions.” The interconnectedness of Richard Marquis, Dante Marioni, and Preston Singletary, cultivated throughout the years, has not created a vacuum of homogeneity in glass. Rather, as these three distinct artists demonstrate, the community of glass has given each individual the “means of cultivating his gift in all directions.”
Richard Marquis, Whole Elk Tower with Manikins, 2015. Blown glass,murrine whole elk technique,found objects, 17.5 x 19 x 13″
Schantz Galleries is pleased to present an exhibition of works by three contemporary artists working in glass. Having worked together on and off over the past 30 years, and maintained a friendship, the three men are each masters of their techniques and have developed extremely different thematic concerns over the years. Each in their own time has studied and then taught their specialized techniques.
Richard Marquis, Setter Head Bottle Vehicle, 2016. Glass: hot slab construction, cast glass, wood, and brass. 7 x 18 x 7″
With over 50 years of experience and a sophisticated understanding of material, color, and form, Richard Marquis balances his training and scrupulous artistic integrity with the playfulness and capacious spirit of an upstart, full of original notions just waiting to burst out in creative action. Simultaneously ironic yet refined, silly yet smart, eclectic yet recognizable, Marquis is nothing if not totally, authentically himself. In part, Marquis’ style emerged from 1960s California funk (he got his B.A. and M.A. from U.C. Berkeley), a counter-movement to east coast Minimalism fusing, among other things, pop-culture, a cartoon aesthetic, and the use of found objects.
Dante Marioni, Leaf Vessels, 2016. Blown glass, greatest height is 42″
Dante Marioni grew up in the thick of the studio art glass movement and first met Marquis when he was 7. When Marioni got into glass as a teen, he felt disconnected with what he called the “loose and free-form” aesthetic that characterized the movement in the 1970s. He has said that “over the course of my career I have been consumed mostly with forms—that is, making interesting shapes. As a glass blower, I have always considered that to be my primary challenge.”
Preston Singletary, Supernatural Being, 2016. 13 x 12 x 12″
Preston Singletary uses glass a means of understanding, and sharing, his Tlingit heritage in the context of modern society. He explains that he compares “my current notion of society with that of my ancestors, intuiting ideas and concepts in glass, referencing my connection to my Tribe, my clan and my family. My influences range from Indigenous art around the world to the glass-blowing process, modernist sculpture, design and music.” Though he considered a career in music, he realized that glass-making gave him a purpose and a responsibility, to “interpret the codes and symbols of the land in a new way.”
Preston Singletary, Tlingit Shelf Baskets, 2015. Blown and sand carved glass, greatest height is 8.75″
The unique cultures of the Pacific Northwest, both past and present, encourage friendship, a sharing of ideas, and cooperative efforts. This is certainly true of Richard Marquis, Dante Marioni, and Preston Singletary. From pop to classical to native, from murrini to cane to sandblasting, from witty to refined to narrative, Marquis, Marioni, and Singletary demonstrate the endless possibilities when the creative mind meets molten glass and fire.
PHOTOS: Richard Marquis, Manikins, 2016; Dante Marioni, Leaf Vessels, 2016; Preston Singletary, Blue Tooth, 2016. photo credits: R.Marquis, K.Saul, Russell Johnson
IF YOU GO:
POP, CLASSICAL, and NATIVE CULTURES IN GLASS (THREE OLD FRIENDS): Richard Marquis, Dante Marioni, and Preston Singletary
Exhibition September 9 – October 4, 2016
Gallery Hours: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01262
Tel: 413-298-3044 www.schantzgalleries.com
For more information, email Kim Saul at firstname.lastname@example.org