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Maricruz Patiño

Chaos and Space in The Figure Dreams that have lived in someone’s soul go on living through his works. GASTON BACHel ard, Water and dreams, 1942

Slash the Figure Open Slash it open with your knife-mind, knife-heart, knife-feelings, watch it dream. Carefully examine the hidden desires it harbors, in the dark, the baroque corners of the mind, where the neurotic furniture has formed, penetrate the useless rooms, the forbidden closets and the dark storage of forgotten memories buried in the accumulated dust of amnesia. Carefully examine the lace-like memories of times past, remembered and distorted, the breezy open vistas and the southern deserts, drifting in the body. How much of it is visible? How much invisible? The dreamed and the dreamer are chasing each other. Why? Have they forgotten that once they were fish and that they came out of the sea? Narcissus Quagliata

From the beginning of his career in the early 1970s, Narcissus has worked incessantly with the figure as his favorite subject. The figure has been observed, imagined, dreamed, transformed, and it has been used by the artist as a symbol. For the artist, the figure ­remains a seductive, incomprehensible enigma.

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Narciso’s work is known primarily for the public character of his art and the artistic dimensions he has extracted from glass, carrying stained glass beyond its functional and ornamental role and discovering, as some daring alchemist might, the possibilities hidden in its matter. As a watercolorist he has intuited the malleability of solid water, which explains how his glass works go beyond the traditional idea of stained glass: painting with it, the way he does, as if on a canvas. Following Bache­ lard’s categories, Narciso would be an artist of many waters and of fire. Public works, generally speaking, require, by their nature, the use of archetypes able to reach the widest possible audience, besides fulfilling their purpose as useful objects. These public works contrast starkly with the other face of his production, an outcome, perhaps, of the continuous effervescence of dream sequences that resonate in the artist’s solitary intimacy and in which the figures depicted reveal the emergence of characters coming to life within the shadow. This is what might be referred to as the dark side, the absolutely private versus the public personality. This space, in which profound thoughts dwell, reveals a universe he entertains with a certain measure of melancholy as he discovers, not unlike some poète maudit, the beauty of what is terrible. The latter is encountered in the expressive desolation of some of his earliest works, such as The Vagabonds/Drifters, which show personifications of the lowest dredges of society and also, in the anguish portrayed, in the Prisoner series, through images that have been made possible by the different imprisonment experiences. In more recent ones, you experience the paradox of media wars raging alongside the peacefulness of the home front: we are eating a hamburger at the same time the TV registers the history of so much destruction unfolding in the present, the central theme in the Gulf War watercolors. The series Mediterranean Treasures deserves a separate approach. It is the outcome of a deep encounter with the corrosive effect that nature has had on Greek bronzes. A more recent perception is explored through the Archetypes series in which the annihilation of the figure itself reveals the drama of matter invaded by phenomena. A look at this creative process throws an intense light on his personal work, perhaps the least known of all and most difficult to share, due to its intense emotional charge – not exactly comfortable, although clearly aesthetic. A guided tour throughout this work shows us a variety of meditations upon human existence arrived at from different perspectives. One could break down this intimate work into the themes stated above, since these constitute a permanent, existential inquiry that would make it look as if the possibilities of the figure are never sufficiently worked out, and that its different mutations have not exhausted this inquiry. This makes us suppose that the mystery the figure embodies has never abandoned him, and for this reason he has not stopped dreaming of it. Throughout this work of a more private character that has emerged in the silence of his workshop, we discover the depths of an ongoing reflection, of a systematic inquiry, not only about the figure and its surroundings, or the reason for it, but about everything that can emanate from it.

13


Maricruz Patiño

Chaos and Space in The Figure Dreams that have lived in someone’s soul go on living through his works. GASTON BACHel ard, Water and dreams, 1942

Slash the Figure Open Slash it open with your knife-mind, knife-heart, knife-feelings, watch it dream. Carefully examine the hidden desires it harbors, in the dark, the baroque corners of the mind, where the neurotic furniture has formed, penetrate the useless rooms, the forbidden closets and the dark storage of forgotten memories buried in the accumulated dust of amnesia. Carefully examine the lace-like memories of times past, remembered and distorted, the breezy open vistas and the southern deserts, drifting in the body. How much of it is visible? How much invisible? The dreamed and the dreamer are chasing each other. Why? Have they forgotten that once they were fish and that they came out of the sea? Narcissus Quagliata

From the beginning of his career in the early 1970s, Narcissus has worked incessantly with the figure as his favorite subject. The figure has been observed, imagined, dreamed, transformed, and it has been used by the artist as a symbol. For the artist, the figure ­remains a seductive, incomprehensible enigma.

12

Narciso’s work is known primarily for the public character of his art and the artistic dimensions he has extracted from glass, carrying stained glass beyond its functional and ornamental role and discovering, as some daring alchemist might, the possibilities hidden in its matter. As a watercolorist he has intuited the malleability of solid water, which explains how his glass works go beyond the traditional idea of stained glass: painting with it, the way he does, as if on a canvas. Following Bache­ lard’s categories, Narciso would be an artist of many waters and of fire. Public works, generally speaking, require, by their nature, the use of archetypes able to reach the widest possible audience, besides fulfilling their purpose as useful objects. These public works contrast starkly with the other face of his production, an outcome, perhaps, of the continuous effervescence of dream sequences that resonate in the artist’s solitary intimacy and in which the figures depicted reveal the emergence of characters coming to life within the shadow. This is what might be referred to as the dark side, the absolutely private versus the public personality. This space, in which profound thoughts dwell, reveals a universe he entertains with a certain measure of melancholy as he discovers, not unlike some poète maudit, the beauty of what is terrible. The latter is encountered in the expressive desolation of some of his earliest works, such as The Vagabonds/Drifters, which show personifications of the lowest dredges of society and also, in the anguish portrayed, in the Prisoner series, through images that have been made possible by the different imprisonment experiences. In more recent ones, you experience the paradox of media wars raging alongside the peacefulness of the home front: we are eating a hamburger at the same time the TV registers the history of so much destruction unfolding in the present, the central theme in the Gulf War watercolors. The series Mediterranean Treasures deserves a separate approach. It is the outcome of a deep encounter with the corrosive effect that nature has had on Greek bronzes. A more recent perception is explored through the Archetypes series in which the annihilation of the figure itself reveals the drama of matter invaded by phenomena. A look at this creative process throws an intense light on his personal work, perhaps the least known of all and most difficult to share, due to its intense emotional charge – not exactly comfortable, although clearly aesthetic. A guided tour throughout this work shows us a variety of meditations upon human existence arrived at from different perspectives. One could break down this intimate work into the themes stated above, since these constitute a permanent, existential inquiry that would make it look as if the possibilities of the figure are never sufficiently worked out, and that its different mutations have not exhausted this inquiry. This makes us suppose that the mystery the figure embodies has never abandoned him, and for this reason he has not stopped dreaming of it. Throughout this work of a more private character that has emerged in the silence of his workshop, we discover the depths of an ongoing reflection, of a systematic inquiry, not only about the figure and its surroundings, or the reason for it, but about everything that can emanate from it.

13


the figure  ⁄ MEDITERRANEAN treasures

Tragedy Dissolves, 1990. Leaded blown glass in lacquered wood screen. 44 x 88 in. / 112 x 224 cm. Executed by Angela Villareal. Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

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the figure  ⁄ MEDITERRANEAN treasures

Tragedy Dissolves, 1990. Leaded blown glass in lacquered wood screen. 44 x 88 in. / 112 x 224 cm. Executed by Angela Villareal. Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

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the figure  ⠄ archetypes

Head of the Unborn, 2012. Enamel on 3 sheets of 6 mm float glass. 77 x 48 in. / 196 x 122 cm. Collection of the artist

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The Premonition, 2012. Enamel on 3 sheets of 6 mm float glass. 77 x 48 in. / 196 x 122 cm. Collection of the artist

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the figure  ⠄ archetypes

Head of the Unborn, 2012. Enamel on 3 sheets of 6 mm float glass. 77 x 48 in. / 196 x 122 cm. Collection of the artist

82

The Premonition, 2012. Enamel on 3 sheets of 6 mm float glass. 77 x 48 in. / 196 x 122 cm. Collection of the artist

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the dome of light 

Grief A shrouded woman turning in on herself is the personification of grief. Behind her are the violence, famine, and death of raging war.

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161 161

â „ GRIEF


the dome of light 

Grief A shrouded woman turning in on herself is the personification of grief. Behind her are the violence, famine, and death of raging war.

160

161 161

â „ GRIEF


the dome of light 

Hope Human civilizations began with the ability to control fire. Lighting a fire is a simple act, yet the light and its warmth are also symbols of hope.

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163 163

â „ hope


the dome of light 

Hope Human civilizations began with the ability to control fire. Lighting a fire is a simple act, yet the light and its warmth are also symbols of hope.

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163 163

â „ hope


DIVINITY IN LIGHT The Dome of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri


DIVINITY IN LIGHT The Dome of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri


DIVINITY IN LIGHT  ⁄ santa maria

Divinity in Light. 2000. Ovaloid glass dome. ø 10.5 ft. / ø 3.25 m. Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy (views from below) Twenty-four panels of blown, beveled and etched glass were slumped into an ovaloid shape and then leaded. The dome’s center element consists of two concentric spheres of blown glass with an additional spherical quarts core

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193 193


DIVINITY IN LIGHT  ⁄ santa maria

Divinity in Light. 2000. Ovaloid glass dome. ø 10.5 ft. / ø 3.25 m. Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy (views from below) Twenty-four panels of blown, beveled and etched glass were slumped into an ovaloid shape and then leaded. The dome’s center element consists of two concentric spheres of blown glass with an additional spherical quarts core

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193 193


the cosmolightsphere

Examples of optical instrumentation. Optical lenses used on the dome of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy

Rose of blue suns projected from a lens in the window The Gift, 足Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

Image of the focused sun projected. Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy

Example of light projection from an art skylight, El Santuario Hotel & Spa, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

The Optical Instrumentation The technology of optics is used to make telescopes and high-precision instruments in the service of science for the observation of the universe as well as for multiple other uses in industry. Here we are proposing that the most sophisticated knowledge of optics be placed at the service of an aesthetic experience. For the design of the optics, the artist collaborated with Professor Salvador Cuevas, Ph.D., of the Astronomy Department of UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico).

Painting with Light Natural light will paint the interior with colors and give the sphere its soul, with a myriad of compositions; the rotation of the earth will make it ever changing. The seamless smoothness of the interior will make it difficult to establish a precise depth of field, provoking in the viewer a semi-dreamlike state.

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Sun drawing by Janet Saad-Cook

Render of interior view

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the cosmolightsphere

Examples of optical instrumentation. Optical lenses used on the dome of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy

Rose of blue suns projected from a lens in the window The Gift, 足Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

Image of the focused sun projected. Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy

Example of light projection from an art skylight, El Santuario Hotel & Spa, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

The Optical Instrumentation The technology of optics is used to make telescopes and high-precision instruments in the service of science for the observation of the universe as well as for multiple other uses in industry. Here we are proposing that the most sophisticated knowledge of optics be placed at the service of an aesthetic experience. For the design of the optics, the artist collaborated with Professor Salvador Cuevas, Ph.D., of the Astronomy Department of UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico).

Painting with Light Natural light will paint the interior with colors and give the sphere its soul, with a myriad of compositions; the rotation of the earth will make it ever changing. The seamless smoothness of the interior will make it difficult to establish a precise depth of field, provoking in the viewer a semi-dreamlike state.

214

Sun drawing by Janet Saad-Cook

Render of interior view

215


Narcissis Quagliata  

The first comprehensive monograph of the Italo-American glass artist Narcissus Quagliata;a documentation of the exploration of light and gla...

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