Dale Chihuly The Nature of Glass Part I
Suspend Reality Enjoy the Impossible
The Nature of Glass
Desert Botanical Garden
My first experience with the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly was at the Phoenix Art Museum in 2001. My expectations included seeing pretty glass vases, woven glass, and other typical works in glass.
That is not what I saw.
Chihuly's works thunder struck me with dazzling color and emotion. The art pieces broke, if you will excuse the pun (glass/broke), every understanding that I had of what someone could do using the medium of glass to create art. The art pieces seemed both wondrous and totally impossible.
The pieces were swirled in color, huge, suspended in the air, seemed to undulate, and seemed impossible to exist much less dazzle. They are mesmerizing.
Near the end of the exhibit there was a walk-through piece called Persian Seaform Ceiling. It is full surround experience in glass based on Persian Glass of the 12th and 13th centuries. I stayed in there until the rest of my party urged me to ‘please, let’s go!”
My next experience with a Chihuly exhibit was in London. I did not know Chihuly was exhibiting there. The Victoria & Albert is one of my favorite museums in the world. So, it was quite by accident that I spent another day with the works of Dale Chihuly. Again, his work was breathtakingly and mind expanding.
So, when I visited a friend in Phoenix during The Nature of Glass exhibit by Dale Chihuly at the Phoenix Botanical Garden, I spent a whole day of my short visit at the exhibit. I arrived when the garden opened and reluctantly left when the garden closed.
The pictures you will see in this series are meant to be more of a presentation of the genius of Dale Chihuly. Although, with the wonders of digital photography we are able to manipulate photographs in many ways, I chose to not manipulate much more than cropping the pictures and adding borders.
I have also presented this in three parts, as that is how I saw and felt the exhibit.
The first part is an introduction to the exhibit.
The second part I whimsically titled Indigo.
The third part was done as the glorious desert sun set in Phoenix. That is when the entire desert reveals its soul. Ghosts and other unworldly things emerge in the shadows and colors of the dusk. Chihuly captured those ghosts and wonders of the night in glass.
The art of Dale Chihuly and the beauty of the Phoenix Desert Gardens are the stars here.
Boat filled with hopes and dreams in the dry dry desert
Suspension of Reality
Glass Fire Licking the Desert
Spikes of yucca and glass fire.
Creosote Bush and Red Glass
Glass Yucca Illusion
Here is a bit about the artist, Dale Chihuly.
Dale Chihuly, an artist in glass, was born in Tacoma Washington. He studied interior design at the University of Washington. He later studied at the University of Wisconsin. The study of glass was a new program there. He has also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD.)
Chihuly established the glass program at RISD and taught there for more than a decade.
In 1976 Chihuly was injured in a car crash that both cut his face badly and made him blind in his left eye. After recovering he continued to blow glass until he hurt his shoulder. As he was no longer able to blow glass, he stepped back and created work from different perspectives.
Please see the video to understand how he is the visionary, teacher, mentor, and soul of the pieces he creates even though he is not the glass blower.
There are works in New Mexico. One is in the Spencer Theater in Ruidoso, New Mexico. One is in the Armand Hammer World College located just outside Las Vegas, New Mexico in a building that historically was a Fred Harvey resort around the turn of the century and now is a very exclusive international school. Just recently several galleries have been advertising their Chihuly pieces for sale in New Mexico.
The reader has a high probability of being able to view a Chihuly exhibit as he is world renowned and invited into many spaces to spin his powerful work. Here is a current listing of where his works are on display from his website: http://www.chihuly.com/places-public-installations.aspx
Even though he exhibits world wide it is unlikely you will see identical pieces as he never assembles his work the same. He is known to visit the venue where his work will be assembled and create a unique exhibit in harmony with the location and feel of the exhibit area. It is clear that this is what he did at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.
Here is a video taken in his studio by the CBS Morning Show: http://www.chihuly.com/cbs-early-show.aspx
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