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With his unique artistic language, Narcissus Quagliata creates an accomplished symbiosis of glass art, architecture and painting.
Narcissus Quagliata (b. 1942) studied painting and graphics under Giorgio de Chirico in Rome and completed his fine arts studies at the Art Institute of San Francisco. Very early on, he discovered glass as the most suitable material with which to express himself artistically, focussing in particular on the phenomenon of light and its interplay with coloured glass. His interest in how art can transform the human image in the public and private sphere is central to his work. Furthermore, in cooperation with industry, Quagliata experimented at an early stage with the development of new forms and applications of glass.
Today Narcissus Quagliata is considered one of the most significant glass artists, drawing worldwide attention through his spectacular works in public spaces, such as the ‘Taiwan Dome of Light’, the largest illuminated glass ceiling in the world, which forms the roof of the subway station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The construction, composed of float glass, fused glass and mouth-blown Murano glass, stretches across an approximately 30-metre-wide space. His glass dome in the Santa Maria degli Angeli church, built by Michelangelo within the Baths of Diocletian in Rome, is equally well-known. It provides colourful illumination for the famous entry rotunda of the basilica.
The works of Narcissus Quagliata are represented in numerous international museums and collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., Oakland Museum of California and the Modern Art Museum in Yokohama.
Selected public commissions: 'Wind, Fire and Time', glass dome, City Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2004–07) | 'Divinity in Light', S. Maria degli Angeli, Rome (1997–2000) | 'A Brushstroke of Discovery', mural work, Discovery Communication Headquarters, Silver Springs (2003) | 'The Gift', Grace Cathedral, San Francisco (2002) | 'La Seconda Innocenza', glass dome, Hotel El Santuario, Valle de Bravo/Mexico (2003)