How I wish I were able to get along to the New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) to see their current exhibition: CHIHULY, on from Saturday, April 22, 2017 – Sunday, October 29, 2017, showing a number of Dale Chihuly’s more recent works.
Glass art and sculpture feature highly on my list of arts interest so I’ve been a huge admirer of Dale Chihuly for, literally, decades, having seen his work on a trip to New York in the 1990’s.
I’ve amassed books, dvd’s and seen smaller exhibitions of his work – the Dale Chihuly Icicle Creek Chandelier, 1996, installed at the Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, Washington, scroll down to the top two images below, is just one example of the many stunningly spectacular commissions that Chihuly has undertaken throughout his career. (There’s a beautiful chandelier at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London too.)
For larger pieces of glass, or any large scale sculpture or art work, there is nothing to beat real-life viewing as medium, colour, scale and setting are rarely as well-served on film and photo.
I was lucky enough to make it along to Kew Gardens, in London, when a similar huge outdoor and indoor exhibition of Chihuly’s works was held some years ago, with day and night showings, as for this NYBG event and it was fantastic. Possibly more stunning by night than day as the lighting showed the beautiful glass art to best advantage.
If you don’t know of Dale Chihuly, these images and this short biography, extracts from the NYBG website, will give you a hint of what he’s about:
Dale Chihuly, an American artist, has mastered the translucent and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass, and neon, to create works of art that transform the everyday experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific installations in public spaces as well as exhibitions presented in museums and gardens worldwide.
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.
In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today.
In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.
Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1996); Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (2000); Garden Cycle (2001-present); Chihuly at The New York Botanical Garden (2006); de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada (2013); and the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Canada (2016).
Chihuly Garden and Glass opened at Seattle Center in 2012. Chihuly’s lifelong fascination with glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings.
For more information about Dale Chihuly and his art, please visit chihuly.com.
Do click across to find out more about the NYBG and their current exhibition:
As you might guess, I’d recommend a visit should you be in the neighbourhood.