Marlene Rose was born in New York with art all around her. Her mother was a painter and her father a sculptor of found objects. Educated at Promfret School in Connecticut, she continued her exploration of visual mediums at Tulane University in New Orleans. Here she came into her own as an artist, developing her unique style. She went on to graduate school at California College of the Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA. She even found time for a Summer Program at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington, the birthplace and epicenter of the Art Glass Movement. She has since traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa and the Caribbean gaining even more influences and ideas for her work.
Marlene Rose's sculptures in glass are modern works of art that resonate with references and allusions to other cultures and civilizations. Rose is one of those rare artists who has discovered a profound way to connect the past and the present. Her work has an immediacy that transcends time and space. To be in the presence of her work is to feel connected to a continuum that started thousands of years ago on earth and millions of light years ago in the universe.
Her sculptures are endowed with an inner light that is a function of not only how they are made but also of her particular affinity for the medium of glass. Over time Rose has developed a vocabulary that is referential as well as abstract and the combination allows viewers access to a language that becomes their own.
Marlene Rose’s glass tells us of a creative spirit that is ancient in heritage and contemporary in outlook. Using the early Egyptian sand-cast process, the artist sculpts works out of molten glass that relate to our own times – the need for permanence and serenity in an ever-transforming world.
“Glass holds ancient light close inside, the light that is always inside, the light of its ancestors, the light of its conception, the light of its making. It is an inseparable part of its being…. The light of “now” awakens this ancient light. The glass sculptures on the floor and on the wall come alive with light, and the light of our gaze wakes the spirit inside." M. Rose
Her goal as an artist is to create life in what ever she makes. In simple terms, she makes the pieces come alive revealing the true and unique source of life energy in each creation. Each piece is hand cast from molten glass in a spectacular process of heat and light. The energy of this "Dangerous Dance of Creation" reflects in the finished work. In the end, the work has a quality of timelessness reflecting both ancient and modern. They celebrate the unique properties of glass, of transparency, and shine and reflection. And because these are cast objects, they hold in their form the memory of the shapes and textures of the materials that formed them; they are fine-grained, rugged or smooth, transparent or translucent, colored or clear.
To read from her Gulf Coast Museum of Art catalogue please click here.