Tom Marioni

Last updated
Tom Marioni
Born1937 (age 8586)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Other names"Alan Fish"
Alma mater Art Academy of Cincinnati
Known forConceptual art
Spouse Kathan Brown (1983–present)

Tom Marioni (born 1937, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States) is an American artist and educator, known for his conceptual artwork. Marioni was active in the emergence of Conceptual Art movement in the 1960s. [1] He founded the Museum of Conceptual Art (MOCA) in San Francisco from 1970 until 1984.


He is currently living and working out of San Francisco, California. [2]


Marioni was born 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio, into an Italian American family with three brothers. [3] His father John "Sereno" Marioni was a general practitioner doctor and "Sunday painter" and his mother sang opera and played the harp and the piano. [3] As a child Tom learned to play the violin and in middle school he trained with the Cincinnati Conservatory – around this time he also became interested in Jazz music. [3] He was raised Catholic and attended a Catholic Boys School from grade school through high school. [3] Two of his brother went on to become artists, Paul Marioni and Joseph Marioni, and a nephew, Dante Marioni. [3] [4] Marioni received his art training at the Art Academy of Cincinnati between 1955 and 1959. [5]

He moved to San Francisco, California after graduating in 1959. [6] He was stationed in Germany with the United States Army from 1960 to 1963. [7] The Museum of Conceptual Art (MOCA) was founded in the 1970 by Marioni, who described conceptual art as "social artwork". [8] [9] From 1975 – 1982, he was editor of Vision, an art journal published by Crown Point Press. From 1986 until 1971, he served as the curator at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California. [7]

He used the pseudonym and alter-ego Alan Fish in some early performances. [7]

Famous works by Marioni include: "One Second Sculpture" (1969), "The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art" (1970). [1]

Marioni's work is included in many public museum collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), [10] Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), [11] among others.

Personal life

Marioni married to Kathan Brown of Crown Point Press in 1983, [11] and he has three sons. [3]


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  1. 1 2 "Hammer Projects: Tom Marioni". Hammer Museum, UCLA. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  2. Sam Whiting (2012-07-11). "Conceptual artist holds weekly beer salon in S.F." SFGate. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Oral history interview with Tom Marioni, 2017 December 21-22". Archives of American Art, Smithsonian. 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  4. "Earth, Wind and Fire: Q&A with Artist Dante Marioni". Seattle Business Magazine. 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  5. "Tom Marioni Biography". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  6. Whiting, Sam (2012-07-12). "Conceptual artist holds weekly beer salon in S.F." SFGate. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  7. 1 2 3 Lewallen, Constance. "- Art Exhibitions - Tom Marioni / MATRIX 39". Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  8. Karin Breuer; Ruth E. Fine & Steven A. Nash (1997). Thirty-five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art. University of California Press. p. 13. ISBN   9780520210615.
  9. Harrison Tedford, Matthew (2011-04-12). "The Museum of Conceptual Art: A Prolegomena to Hip". Art Practical. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  10. "Collection: Tom Marioni". SFMOMA. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  11. 1 2 "Collections: Tom Marioni". FAMSF. 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2020-03-06.