Dale Chihuly: CHIHULY

August 29 – October 24, 2015

With this exhibit, Dale Chihuly marks twenty years of creating spectacular projects for Dallas, including his show at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1994 and an incredible installation throughout the gardens of the Dallas Arboretum in the summer of 2012.  To celebrate his special history with Dallas, Chihuly and his team will design new site-specific works for the gallery, including the Sapphire and Powder Blue Chandelier in a dazzling display of aqua, cobalt and periwinkle blue tones.

With a background in architecture, Chihuly has always been interested in the play of light through glass and different materials and its activation of space.  Working with the spaces of the main gallery, Chihuly will present smaller sculptural works from his recognized series of forms as well as several large-scale installations.  One of the highlights will be Amber Spire Tower, a nine-foot-tall, vertical sculpture comprised of hundreds of glass spire-shaped pieces built into a dramatic tower formation.  Chihuly includes this sculpture as a nod to his installation at the Dallas Arboretum as well as his love of outdoor installations.

Other artwork from the artist’s series will include Venetians, Persians, Jerusalem Cylinders, Sconces and Fiori.  The Venetians first began with Italian maestro Lino Tagliapietra in 1988, and Chihuly has re-visited this form to explore different shapes and color palettes over the years.  As the artist states, “In the case of the Venetians, it had a very strange beginning.  I was only going to try to make some beautiful Art Deco vases or some Italian vases, which were rather rare that I had seen…Shortly after I started making drawings, I stared making things that weren’t Art Deco or weren’t even necessarily Italian—just using a vocabulary of different historical forms.  That’s how the Venetians started.” 

In addition, the Fiori walls are the latest expressions of the artist’s life-long fascination with flowers and gardens, which developed from his mother’s passion for gardening.  This series first appeared as Mille Fiori (Italian for “a thousand flowers”) at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2003, and with these forms, Chihuly has created spectacular installations that are true gardens of glass. The Fiori artworks featured in the exhibition will include Emerald Green Fiori and Golden Quartz Fiori. Ten drawings will also be presented throughout the gallery, each illustrating the artist’s ideas for the various forms, as Chihuly explains, “You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way, perhaps.  And from the very beginning, the drawings were done, as my glass is done, very quickly, very fast.”

Born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941, Dale Chihuly first studied at the University of Washington, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. The following year, Chihuly received a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with Harvey Littleton, who had established the first glass program in the country.  In 1967, Chihuly received his Master of Science degree in sculpture, after which he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree.  Chihuly was then awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to travel to Venice to learn more about the team approach to blowing glass at the Venini factory on Murano.  After returning to the states, Chihuly taught for more than a decade at RISD and co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School new Stanwood, Washington in 1971.

By the early 1990s, the artist had begun to create large-scale, site-specific works at major sites.  In 1995, he embarked on Chihuly Over Venice, a two-year project that developed in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico and concluded in ltaly, where his chandeliers were suspended over the canals and piazzas of Venice. In 1999, he mounted Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, an exhibition of large-scale sculptures at the Citadel in the Old City in Jerusalem, and more than one million visitors came to see his installations.

Chihuly's artwork is also included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Palais du Louvre, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Corning Museum of Glass.  Major exhibitions include the de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011); the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012); and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada (2012). Chihuly Garden and Glass opened at the Seattle Center in 2012.

AUGUST 29 - OCTOBER 24, 2015

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