On May 12 at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington, a full capacity audience of 275 guests attended Pilchuck Celebrates and toasted the 2016 Honorees. Glassblowing pioneer Dante Marioni, 52, was awarded The Libenský | Brychtová Award, which acknowledges extraordinary talent and high achievement in the world of contemporary glass.
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 Post Modern 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’s series 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 latticino 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 in the decorative arts.
Marioni’s work will be exhibited in Classical, Native, and Pop Cultures, on view September 2 – 30 at Schantz Gallery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, along with the work of Preston Singletary and Richard Marquis. His solo exhibition, In a Breath, opens November 4 at Ken Saunders Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, during the first week of SOFA and runs through December 2016.