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Richard Marquis Portrait

Richard Marquis

Born:
Bumble Bee, Arizona 1945

Luce Artist Quote

"Decoration is not a pretty word. An object first must have a strong form which decoration can then either enhance or confuse, depending on what the artist intends." Richard Marquis, University of Washington Press, 1997


Biography

Richard Marquis earned a B.A. degree in 1969 and an M.A. in 1971 at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied glass and ceramics. On a 1969 Fulbright fellowship to study at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy, Marquis was introduced to the ancient millefiori and murrini glass techniques, in which thin rods (millefiori) or thin chips (murrini) of multicolored glass are fused together as one rod, which is then embedded in blown glass and twisted to prouce linear, spiral, and geometric patterns. Marquis is credited wtih being the first twentieth-century American Glass artist to use these techniques. His work is primarily inspired by California funk—an art movement of the late 1960s that rejected traditional art theories.

Marquis has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Pilchuk Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine.

Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Richard Marquis pioneered the use of murrine in American glass after accepting a grant to work in Italy in the 1960s. This ancient technique fuses thin rods of different colored glass into a larger rod, so that the pattern reads in cross-section. The rod is then cut into thin slices and incorporated into formed glass. Marquis painstakingly lays out pieces of murrine into an intricate pattern, which is then fused into a solid sheet and blown or slumped. A collector of kitsch, Marquis often combines objects from his collections with his sculptures in wacky assemblages.