Narcissus Quagliata

Narcissus Quagliata’s studies began in Rome with the surrealist Giorgio de Chirico, and continued at the San Francisco Art Institute under two founding members of the Bay Area figurative school of painting, Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn.

After graduating with a BFA and MFA in painting, he spent four years in a studio he built himself in what is now a National Wilderness Area on the coastal mountain range of Northern California. In that studio he made the unique artistic decision to use glass rather than canvas to capture the reality of light itself.

Twice the recipient of NEA grants, Narcissus believes in the ability of glass to manipulate light in ways that enhance the quality of life in an environment. His prolific flow of work has resulted in over a hundred installations in private residences, large commercial buildings and public works, many of them documented in books, magazine articles, and museum and gallery exhibitions around the world.

His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.; Yokohama City Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Oakland Museum, California; Corning Museum of Glass, New York; and Glasmalerei-Museum Izu Kogen, Shizuoka-Ken, Japan.

Building commissions include the Public Library of Gainesville, Florida; Synagogue Acapulco Seventy, Mexico City; and in California, Oakland’s Alice Art Center, the Charles Schwab Building in San Francisco, City of San Leandro Civic Center, and Oakland’s Pacific Bell Building.

In recent years Narcissus has collaborated with the world renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta on an 8,000 square foot glass design for the renovated Hotel Reforma in Mexico City; completed a large scale public commission for the Yerba Buena parking structure in San Francisco; created a monumental glass installation, “Gate of Darkness,” for his retrospective at the Franz Mayer Museum of Mexico City; and worked on a design proposal for glass to be placed in the rotunda of the Basilica di Santa Maria Degli Angeli, designed by Michelangelo on the Roman ruins of Diocleziano. In 2005 he completed the commission of Grace Cathedral’s final large stained-glass panel.