Marquiscarpa: Richard Marquis Works 1991-2011
"When Richard Marquis began to work with murrines in the late 1960s, he introduced the American studio glass movement to an ancient technique, murrine: images and patterns made in glass cane. By the 1990s, Marquis’ mastery of murrines allowed him to pay tribute to Carlo Scarpa—Italy’s most innovative glass designer of the 20th century—in a series of sculptural vessels which reference five thousand years of glassmaking.
In the Marquiscarpa series, we see shallow circular bowls and elongated canoe-like forms elevated on architectural columns, executed in blown and slumped glass murrines. This use of an architectural structure and of glass murrines, a three-thousand-year-old method of making vessels with slices of pre-made glass canes, is a very specific reference to the work of Carlo Scarpa".
Marquis’ experience working at the Italian glass manufacturer Venini, in the late 1960s and early 70s, on a Fulbright scholarship exposed him to all the traditional techniques of Muranese glassmaking, of which the blowing and slumping of murrines became his technique of choice. From the 60s onward, Marqius mastered the use of murrines and developed his own imagery and vocabulary which references psychedelia, pop art, traditional design aesthetics and American culture at all levels. His work is satirical, insightful, funny, poetic, uniquely American and, at the same time, universal in its directness of imagery and purpose.