Mutant: Narcissus Quagliata’s New Book of Poetry and Sketches
“Divested of the illusion that art matters, divested of the illusion that it is meaningful and worthwhile to have a successful life as an artist, the irrational love for the creative process itself is all that I have left. It all boils down to my addiction to entering over and over in the magical moment and mysterious space when an idea forms inside of you and becomes itself by traveling from the dark cave of my soul to the outside reality, be it a huge glass dome or a small watercolor.”
October 2019 marks the release of Narcissus Quagliata’s fourth book, Mutant, a collection of poetry and sketches created from 1968 to 2018 and inspired by the life and times of this internationally acclaimed artist. The book intimately explores the relationship between dreams, words and images on 216 pages with 13 full-color photographs of Quagliata's glass and watercolor work.
Born and raised in Rome, Quagliata later lived in San Francisco for 30 years where he began his journey of redefining stained glass as an artistic medium. He made a name for himself by addressing subjects and issues in his glass that were typically handled by painters. Reversely, his work in glass made him an outlier in the world of painting. Still, the artist managed to cultivate a successful career without ever definitively fitting in anywhere.
With the introduction of new technologies in glass fusing, Quagliata set about reinventing the glass panel as a painting, spontaneous and free. He developed new attitudes and methods to rethink what could be done with glass using the kiln. Through his Painting with Light techniques, the artist pioneered a second area of the glass arts.
In both stained and fused glass, Quagliata devoted 50 years to the exploration of the human figure as a gateway to the strangeness of life in an incomprehensible universe. His work has been exhibited in museum collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum, New York City; De Young Museum, San Francisco, California; Museum of Light, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum of Glass San Ildefonso, Segovia, Spain; and many more.
Major public works by Quagliata include Wind, Fire and Time, a 6700- square-foot, public commissioned, fused and stained glass dome in the Central Station of Taiwan’s metro system in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2008); Divinity in Light, a dome of glass over the entry Rotunda of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome, Italy (1999); Return to the Cosmos, a 360-square-foot backlit glass mural in an office tower lobby at Reforma 115, Mexico City, Mexico, (2004); and most recently The Resurrection Window in Leawood Kansas, a 3440-square-foot fused glass window designed by Tim Carey and created in collaboration with Judson Studios (2017). Quagliata has twice received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work in the U.S.
At 76, Quagliata continues to be much in demand professionally, dividing time between his studio in Mexico City, Mexico, and an ongoing residency at Judson Studios, Los Angeles, California, in his role as Director of Innovation. At Judson, Quagliata works to further develop the studio’s fusing capabilities while also helping to guide its artist development program, introducing artists in other mediums to stained and fused glass and successfully executing their concepts in glass.
Mutant, and Quagliata’s previous book, Archetypes and Visions in Light & Glass, are available at dlartglass.com or order by phone (303) 449- 8737. Both titles will be available for purchase at the October 23 lecture in Lakewood, Colorado. Have your copy signed by the author!