Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly is an American sculptor who does amazing and beautiful works in colored glass.

His works range from small pieces to large scale installations, both outdoor and indoor, often accompanied by the striking effects of dramatic lighting.

A large part of the appeal of his work, aside from the beautiful character of the material and the colors and patterns within it, is the inspiration he takes from natural forms. His graceful, fluid objects echo forms from plants, birds and even undersea life. The natural origins of his shapes are frequently emphasized by installations in which his sculptures are placed in natural settings, notably in botanical gardens.

Chihuly studied glass at the first program of its kind at the University of Wisconsin in the 1960’s. He had the opportunity to work at the famed Venini glass factory in Venice. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he later returned to establish and teach a glass program for 10 years, and cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State.

Chihuly’s work is in a number of museums, both small and large (I frequently get to see his installation at the Delaware Art Museum, above, second down) and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, one of which is a major exhibition now running at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass, that is on view until August 2, 2011.

The museum has several videos and a slideshow feature on their website. Chihuly’s own website has several galleries, though the navigation is not as convenient as it might be. Take the trouble to drill down into subcategories like Exhibitions: Gardens or Glass Series: Fiori: Indoor to get to the actual galleries of work. There are also galleries of his preliminary drawings (above, 3rd down).

11 thoughts on “Dale Chihuly

  1. Charles Ranier

    Also, don’t forget the lobby ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas! Absolutely fantastic permanent installation.

  2. Dave Dubé

    I made a trip to Pilchuk in the mid-Seventies and have been enamored of his beautiful glass ever since. Your examples are fabulous. Of course I’m a glass-nut, so I’m prejudiced.

  3. Tegan

    Living in Washington state, I’ve heard a lot about Chihuly, including more of the negative side of his persona that most people in the international art world aren’t aware of. He has a workshop of artisans that produce his work, which is fine, but he also tends to go after anyone who emulates his style, including former employees who try to strike out on their own. Here’s an article by the art critic in the Seattle alternative weekly paper that discusses Chihuly’s legal battles over his ownership of his style: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=30734

  4. Susan

    I discovered Chihuly at an exhibition at the Akron Museum of Art in 2000. I was mesmerized, and continue to be! Thanks for the posting.

  5. Syl

    Is he going to be at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on New Year Eve, 2011, when they re-open his art on it 10th Aniversary?? I think it is his largest in the world…….

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