- - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


November 4, 2016 - January 10, 2017

In Dante Marioni’s fifth exhibition at the gallery the artist gives himself over to color and pattern, exploring the bending of his canes of glass into geometric kaleidoscopes.


Past exhibitions have seen the artist explore color and form. Indeed, the artist’s monochromatic leaps of color blown into shapes of awesome complexity and scale stand as some of the most impressive works created by an American glassblower. The inclusion of a Trio from 2006 in this exhibition is a reminder of just how sophisticated Dante’s vision can be. The large Pitcher is a tour-de-force.


For this exhibition Dante creates works of significant scale seemingly without effort. In several cases color and pattern are explored as many as three times in variously sized forms. Exhibited together these groupings take on a conceptual quality as the optical brilliance of all that pattern plays with and against itself.


We are thrilled to once again present the work of one of the most significant artists working with glass today and to document the exhibition with this catalogue.


Ken Saunders 2016


view catalogue

In considering Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-Hour Rule, presented in his book Outliers, it’s interesting to contemplate how the cards Dante Marioni was dealt affected the kind of artist he would become and the level of success he could achieve. As the son of well-known glass artist Paul Marioni, Dante was surrounded by glass artists all of his life. But of equal importance is his internal passion for working with the molten material. The combination of his innate glassblowing ability, developed through thousands of hours of practice, along with his passion for the work gave birth to one of the most highly skilled and successful American glassblowers in history.


Dante Marioni took the glass world by storm at age 19 with his exacting and intuitive command of both Venetian design and technique. The resulting monumental postmodern sculpture referred to vessels and paid homage to glassblowing itself. His early aesthetic signature included graceful form, impeccable finish, and the use of solid opaque colors, all of which made his work instantly recognizable.


Always looking for a new challenge, Marioni has created many series that are short lived, The natural evolution of process and form led to an aesthetic shift away from opaque, bold color to an exploration of pattern created through Venetian techniques such as reticello and zanfirico in transparent glass. Marioni’s current work beguiles the viewer with its intricacy, beauty and perfection of form, revealed in sculptural vessels that are inspired by the stylized leaf as found the decorative arts.


“When I was a kid, I heard people say that every artist gets one good idea. It’s always been my goal to keep the work interesting and challenging, but it’s also skill and process driven. I want to move forward and make more compelling and technically difficult objects.”


Excerpts courtesy of Glass Art magazine, Dante Marioni: Honoring Glassblowing Tradition through Intensely Individual Forms by Shawn Waggoner, November December 2016 issue, www.glassartmagazine.com.

Accompanying podcast available on iTunes.

© Ken Saunders Gallery, 2020 | 2041 West Carroll Avenue Chicago, IL 60612