Tacoma's Museum of Glass presents exceptional glass art exhibits
Tacoma's Museum of Glass presents exceptional glass art exhibits

MARCH 28 - SEPT. 7



The Museum of Glass is presenting three exceptional exhibits in their galleries: Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass, Living Legacies: Homage to a Maestro, which opens later this month, presents work by accomplished artists influenced by Lino Tagliapietra. and Dante Marioni: Form, Color, Pattern.

Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect is the first exhibition to look at the art and 40-year career of Lino Tagliapietra. Widely revered as the maestro of glassblowing, Tagliapietra is an inspiring teacher and the elder statesman between the glass centers of Venice, Italy and the Pacific Northwest. In 1979, at the age of 45, he first came to Seattle in response to an invitation to teach at the young Pilchuck Glass School where he unhesitatingly shared his knowledge, universally elevating the art and craft of glassmaking and changing the course of contemporary glass. The exhibition comprises 169 objects acquired from the artist's own collection and collections around the world, including pivotal and renowned series of artistic work, designs made for industry, and private objects that have never been exhibited.

The exhibit Living Legacies: Homage to a Maestro, opening on March 28, presents a selection of sculptural work in glass by fifteen distinguished contemporary artists who have an historic and enduring association with glass master Lino Tagliapietra. These artists have utilized traditional glassmaking techniques to craft individual and inventive works of art that embody the essence of innovation and creative expression epitomized by Lino - his artistry, generosity of spirit and dedication to his craft.

"The three generations of artists whose work is represented in Living Legacies attest to the extraordinary influence of this one artist on the development of the glass movement," comments Susan Warner, director of public programs. "Visitors will be able to enjoy a rich visual experience while making links to the maestro's work.

Lino is recognized throughout the world as a master of Venetian glass techniques. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of glass and its potential to develop singular bodies of work. In her essay for the Lino Tagliapietra In Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass exhibition catalog, curator Susanne K. Frantz writes, "Thanks largely to [Lino Tagliapietra] the technical standard of the craft was raised worldwide and the former greatness of Murano lives on in a variety of innovative and evolving incarnations in Seattle, Amsterdam, Canberra and countless other sites & In addition to his role as an educator, [Lino] is recognized for combining perfect craftsmanship and glorious tradition with an intelligent and advanced vision for glass - his own, Murano's and beyond."

Artists represented in the exhibition include Nancy Callan, Dale Chihuly, Paul Cunningham, Dan Dailey, Jen Elek, Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, Dante Marioni, Richard Marquis, Benjamin P. Moore, James Mongrain, Janusz Pozniak, Richard Royal, Preston Singletary, and David Walters. Each of these accomplished artists has worked with Lino in some capacity during their careers, and their ability to manage the intricacies and challenges for working with molten glass has grown exponentially. The artworks in Living Legacies have "translated" traditional Italian techniques into a thoroughly fresh and contemporary American language shown through singular works and installations.

Living Legacies is organized for the Museum of Glass by guest curator Margery Aronson. It will be displayed throughout the Museum exhibition spaces, including Art Alley, the Hot Shop and the Grand Hall.

Dante Marioni: Form, Color, Pattern is a mid-career survey comprising more than twenty exceptional glass works crafted over the past two decades by Seattle artist, Dante Marioni. A "Conversation with the Artist" lecture and slide presentation is scheduled for March 16, at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum of Glass theater. A catalog accompanies the exhibition. The exhibition was organized by Dante Marioni Studio and the Museum of Glass is the only West Coast venue on the tour.

Marioni is known for his mastery of Venetian glassblowing techniques. In his hands, the traditional vessel is transformed into modern sculpture with shape and surface simultaneously minimalist and delicately complex.

His elegant vessels are compelling for their bold colors, striking geometries, graceful forms and impeccable finishes. Most of the forms he chooses are utilitarian in nature (vases, pitchers and cups) but he challenges viewers' perceptions of these objects by increasing their scale and incorporating the decorative brilliance that has defined glassmaking for centuries. For Dante Marioni, the art of glassblowing - rather than the blowing of glass art - is the ultimate purpose.

The exhibition explores the ways Marioni has been inspired by both historical and contemporary glassblowers. Drawing upon the centuries-long artistic conversation about classical design, proportion, and aesthetics that dates back to the ancient roots of the art form, he is also influenced by the teachings of contemporary mentors, such as Lino Tagliapietra, to create a style distinctively his own.

Dante Marioni was born in California and comes from a family of artists. He began working with glass in 1979 at age 15, learning glassblowing in the studio directly from his father, Paul Marioni, and other artists including Dale Chihuly, Benjamin Moore and Lino Tagliapietra. Over many years, Marioni has become one of the most accomplished glassblowers in the United States. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in several notable collections, including the White House Collection of American Crafts, the Japanese National Museum of Craft, The Corning Museum of Glass and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He teaches and exhibits his work worldwide and lives in Seattle with his wife, Alison, and son, Lino.

For more information call 253-284-4750 or 1-866-4MUSEUM or visit www.museumofglass.org.

A Museum of Glass press release.