Montague Gallery, which showcases some of the most intriguing art in the Bay Area, has become a go-to spot for homeowners who want to add depth to their rooms and collections.
Montague Gallery represents a range of glass artists, including Lino Tagliapietra, “Fenice” (2019, blown glass), 22.5 inches by 12.5 inches by 12 inches.
On a whim nearly 30 years ago, Dani Montague took a water taxi from Venice to the island of Murano for a glass factory tour. She ended up spending the entire day on the island visiting glass-art studios. She was intrigued by the medium. “After returning home, I began to realize that studio glass—the modern use of glass as a material to make one-of-a-kind three-dimensional objects—wasn’t easy to find,” says Montague, who worked for three decades in the nonprofit sector. “Very few galleries in the United States specialize in glass. Eventually, I knew I had to open a gallery or I’d regret it.” Several years ago, Montague followed through and opened her eponymous gallery (montaguegallery.com) in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood; her mission is to bring studio glass to the Bay Area. “We’re introducing the medium to art lovers, educating them about glass work and helping clients build their art collections,” she says.
Steve Klein, “Exploration 206” (2020, fused kiln-formed blown glass), 7 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches
For decor, glass art is likely lower on the media list for most homeowners, but it’s unmatched for adding dimension, splendor and interest to any room. “People don’t always realize how versatile glass art can be,” Montague says. “There are amazing wall pieces, glass installations and sculptural work for entryways, niches, tables and pedestals. Glass can be transparent or opaque, glossy or matte, smooth or textured. The works can change dramatically over the course of the day as the light changes.”
Dean Bensen and Demetra Theofanous, “Where the Clouds Meet” (2021, pate de verre glass), 44 inches by 55 inches by 7 inches
Montague Gallery continues to represent local, national and international artists in all stages of their careers; it also offers work in a wide variety of price points. New work in the gallery is as mind-blowing as it is beautiful. “Using the natural world for inspiration, leaf installations by Bay Area artists artDean Bensen (deanbensen.com) and Demetra Theofanous (sculpturebydemetra.com) offer wonder and delight,” says Montague. “The fleeting beauty and decomposition of falling leaves is captured in multilayered wall installations. By using glass powders and creating realistic leaf forms, the artists create exquisite work that captures light and creates marvelous shadows. These installations can be scaled up or down, and can easily become a focal point within a room.”
Baldwin Guggisberg, “Fall Equinox” (2021, blown and cut glass), 16.25 inches by 22 inches by 22 inches
The gallery also features work by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra (linotagliapietra.com). “The pieces are breathtaking,” says Montague. “People often stop for a moment just to take in the graceful form and immense scale. Then drawing closer, the color and pattern can be absolutely mesmerizing. Tagliapietra is widely considered to be the world’s greatest living glass-blower, and he’s had an enormous impact on the studio glass movement overall and on countless individuals he has mentored and taught.”
Nancy Callan, “Embers Droplet” (2019, blown glass), 19.5 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches
For homeowners renovating or creating a new allure for rooms, Montague says she enjoys meeting people who’ve never encountered studio glass. “I love watching their eyes light up as we help them make new discoveries,” she says. “And we especially love helping our clients build their art collections by advising on the best pieces to achieve their goals.”
Photography by: COURTESY OF MONTAGUE GALLERY