E-Newsletter : Issue #004 Dante Marioni | Glass Artist



Publisher: Kenn Holsten
A free monthly e-newsletter from
Holsten Galleries, Stockbridge MA
Issue #4 – November/December 2002


In This Issue

Quotes of the Month

“There are glass blowers, there are glass makers, there are glass artists. There are master blowers, there are masters — and among the masters there is The Master. His name is Lino Tagliapietra.”
Finn Lynggaard, The Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark

“I’ve been influenced more by American artists, the pioneers of the studio glass movement, than I have by anyone else. That is not to discount the enormous impact Lino Tagliapietra has had on my work.”
Dante Marioni


Winter In The Berkshires

Winter in the Berkshires is a special time with its own
special pace. Many of you have fond memories of Berkshire
summers with warm weather, Tanglewood concerts under the
stars, perhaps a swim in one of the lakes. You may also
remember a fair amount of traffic, three-night minimum stays
in the better resorts and inns, dining by reservation only.

All of this changes in the winter here. The resorts and inns
are still open but reservations are often not required. The
restaurants are happy to welcome you. Everything has slowed to
a much more graceful pace and, particularly if there is snow
(and right now it’s a winter wonderland here), Stockbridge
seems more like the quaint New England Village made famous in
the paintings of Norman Rockwell.

Despite the change in season, our gallery is open seven days a
week year-round. We are extremely busy preparing for two major
exhibitions in Florida, expanding our website, and preparing
for a summer group glass exhibition which we have been invited
to curate at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. We have lots
of new work, including thirty new Lino Tagliapietra pieces for
our Art Palm Beach show in January. We also recently put up
two new major wall installations, one by Chihuly and the other
by Lino Tagliapietra. We would love to see you in the Berkshires this


Artist of the Month:
Dante Marioni

Many of you know Dante Marioni for his perfectly blown forms which tend to be rather neo-classical in style. They can be thought of as contemporary stylized versions of more traditional Murano shapes. Dante has described his work as “Italian-American, because I’m trying to make something that’s age-old technically but is American in its boldness.”

Often Marioni’s works are in either pairs or trios, two or three different forms in the same color with contrasting lip wraps. Pieces from this series graced the covers of The White House Collection book and the Smithsonian magazine.

Most artists and collectors consider Dante to be one of the most accomplished glass blowers in this country, and yet Dante himself says about his work: “I am constantly having ideas for new forms, and there are a lot of things I want to do that are technically beyond me. I have to convince myself that a form can be made, and then I just keep working at it until I get it.”

These words appear to be a bit modest for an artist who at the age of 38 is already represented in most of the major private glass collections in this country, as well as in over 25 public collections including the Corning Museum of Glass and the National Museum of Art in Washington, D.C.

Visit the Dante Marioni section on our website to see many beautiful works currently available at the gallery.

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Guest Essay:

Glass Art: An Historical Perspective
By Chandra Holsten

The studio glass art movement had it’s inception in the spring of 1962 in a garage in the Midwest. There, Harvey Littleton, professor of ceramics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Dominick Labino, director of research at Johnson-Manville Fiber Glass Corp., devised a small glass-melting furnace. This furnace, small enough to be used in an artist’s studio, revolutionized the art of glassmaking in this country by eliminating the need for artists to work only in glass factories.

This seminal event, along with a lecture presented in the spring of that year by Littleton and Labino at the Toledo Museum of Art and a series of workshops presented there by Littleton, served to launch the studio movement. Suddenly, glass was liberated from the corporate/profit- driven world, and transformed into a more personal, artistic interpretation by the artist’s imagination.

Two of Littleton’s early students in glass at U.W. were Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky, who went on to create glass programs of their own: Chihuly at Rhode Island School of Design and Lipofsky at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the University of California, Berkeley. Later, Christopher Ries studied under Littleton at the University of Wisconsin to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree and was instrumental in building a hot glass shop at Ohio State.

During this period, funded by Fullbright Scholarships, Chihuly and other artists went to Europe to learn more about traditional glass techniques. Some of their European mentors, at the behest of Chihuly and other former students, came to work, live and exhibit their work in America, learning a kind of freedom of expression and spontaneity unheard of at the time of their apprenticeships in the European glass factories. The most famous of these artists is Italian glass maestro, Lino Tagliapietra.

In the summer of 1971, Chihuly, having returned to Seattle from Venice, followed by a summer of teaching at the Haystack School of Crafts in Maine, visualized a similar arts center for the Northwest devoted entirely to glass. A two thousand dollar grant from the Union of Independent Colleges of Art and the donation of a forty-acre tree farm outside of Stanwood Washington were the inception of the Pilchuck Glass School.

Soon artists from all over the country arrived. Living on the land in tents and station wagons at the beginning; building cabins and tree houses as they laboriously constructed furnaces and ovens; blowing
glass, sharing their dreams. Since that time, glass artists and students from around the world have been drawn there to study, teach and share their excitement for this medium.

Though there was considerable interest in this emerging art form, there was also a certain bias. Glass, after all, had been considered a material for the making of functional objects, such as windows and goblets. And there was not a venue beyond arts and crafts fairs for the sale of glass as art.

This attitude prevailed, despite Littleton’s early vision of “glass as a modern material for sculpture of the highest rank”. But as artists such as Tom Patti began placing their work in museums, The Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a different view of the medium and its possibilities began to emerge.

In the 1970’s three galleries were created which were devoted to glass art: Habatat Gallery in Detroit, Heller Gallery in New York and Holsten Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachussetts. and Palm Beach, Florida. These galleries, supporting the vision of Littleton and his followers, began exhibiting the work of Littleton, Chihuly, Patti and later, Ries and William Morris, as well as other now famous artists.

Advertising the medium in magazines such as Art in America, Art News and American Craft, these pioneer galleries began educating collectors, instilling a love of the many possibilities inherent in the material. Glass: blown, cut, fused, slumped and cast; from quiet, pristine, pure sculpture to the colorful molten flow of hot glass, began appearing in major exhibitions around the country and ultimately around the world.

Since that time, Chihuly, whose work is now included in over 200 museum collections, and who has had extraordinary installations worldwide, has been the subject of several PBS Specials and videos: Chihuly Over Venice, Chihuly In The Light of Jerusalem, Chihuly at the V.& A.; thus, making the artist’s name into a household word and creating a consciousness of glass which has never before existed.

Now, in a space of less than thirty years, a once obscure art form has become an accepted, in fact celebrated, medium of art which not only enlivens the senses and educates the eye to the possibilities of light, color, reflection and transparency, but affords the viewer a look inside, a metaphor for one of the foremost functions of any work of art.

Chandra Holsten was the co-founder of Holsten Galleries in 1978 and is currently a novelist and Director of Davis and Cline Gallery in Ashland, Oregon.

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December 10-February 28: GROUP EXHIBITION at Holsten Galleries, including works by Dale Chihuly, Sidney Hutter, Kreg Kallenberger, Marvin Lipofsky, Dante Marioni, William Morris, Thomas Patti, Christopher Ries, Lino Tagliapietra and Steven Weinberg (special emphasis on Lino Tagliapietra).

January 9-14: ART PALM BEACH (our fifth annual one-person exhibition of Lino Tagliapietra). Catalog available upon request. (If you aren’t on our regular mailing list, send email to [email protected] for a catalog.)

March 6-11: ART FORM 2003, West Palm Beach, FL (Holsten Galleries will present a three-person exhibition: Dante Marioni, Christopher Ries, Lino Tagliapietra).

May 16-August 31: CONTEMPORARY GLASS MASTERS, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA (curated by Holsten Galleries)

May 29-June 1: SOFA-NEW YORK, Park
Avenue Armory. (Holsten galleries will present a three-person exhibition: Latchezar
Boyadviev, Marvin Lipofsky, Martin Rosol)s

June 10, 2003: 25th Anniversary of Holsten Galleries, established June 10,

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We Are Here to Serve You

At Holsten Galleries, we pride ourselves in the personalized service we offer collectors around the world. No matter what your level of expertise, we can provide you with whatever information you need to make informed choices.

The best way to work with us is to give us a call, please see the Contact Us page using the link above.

You can also email us at the Contact page using the link above.

We look forward to working with you.


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