Friday, 2 December 2011

Chihuly: Colourful Glass Dreams

Chihuly may be an unfamiliar name to you but I'm sure his work isn't. His impressive 27 foot high chandelier over the grand entrance hall of the V&A Museum is the first thing to catch your eye as soon as you get in.

Gold and Quartz Two Tier Chandelier
(Halcyon Gallery exhibition)

The Seattle-based artist Dale Chihuly has done more to revolutionise how glass is perceived as an art form worldwide than any other artist and now he is back...

Maize Persian Set with Obsidian Lip Wraps
(Halcyon Gallery exhibition)

"Returning to London to show this important collection of work is truly exciting. The inaugural exhibition at Halcyon Gallery, in such an incredible building, presents the ideal space to show this work." Dale Chihuly

Lip Wrap series

The solo show extends over three levels of the new gallery space and features installations of glass work across the different series for which Chihuly is internationally known.

Mille Fiori (detail)

Large works in the exhibition include the stunning 24 feet wide Mille Fiori garden of glass, specially conceived for the show. You feel totally immersed in another dimension, as if you've discovered a secret treasure. 

Saphire and Sky Blue Fiori

You can acknowledge the artist's obsession with colour, his unique glass sculptures look as if they have come from nature, exotic forms burst with rich vibrant colours bringing to mind exotic landscapes, tropical flowers and underwater wonders.

                  Doubloon and Bittersweet Orange Basket Set with Obsidian Wraps

"One of the most important inspirations for me is the glass itself, the glass blowing process, this wondrous event of blowing human air down a blowpipe and having this form appear." Dale Chihuly

Gilded Rose Venetian with Chartreeuse Green Coil and Gold Venetian with Indigo Leaves

There is a catalogue produced for this exhibition, with a foreword by V&A curator Jennifer Hawkins Opie, who worked with Chihuly on the landmark V&A Museum exhibition in 2001 and an essay by British art critic Mathew Collings.

White and Black Cylinders

It's also worth having a look at his latest book - 'Chihuly Garden Installations' - published by Portland Press, which explores the results of his investigation into designing site-specific installations for some of the world's preeminent gardens and conservatories.

Pewter Ikebana with Onyx Stems

Halcyon Gallery, 144 New Bond Street
(5 December 2011 - 28 February 2012)

Other related posts:
For the Love of Art... Frieze Art Fair
Postmodernism: Style and Subversion at V&A!
New Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts