NEW YORK.- Marlborough Gallery
presents an important exhibition of new work by renowned sculptor and glass artist Dale Chihuly will open at Marlborough Chelsea on September 16 and continue through October 16, 2010. Called the greatest living master of the ancient medium of glass, this will be Chihulys first gallery exhibition in New York since 2006.
On the occasion of his first show at Marlborough Chelsea on West 25th Street, Chihuly will create a spectacular site-specific installation entitled Chelsea Persians featuring over one hundred Persian blown glass elements which are open, disc-like forms with striations (called body wraps). The Persian glass elements are mounted on curvilinear stainless steel armatures that dramatically move across the walls, ceilings and columns of the gallery. This new environmentally-scaled work fundamentally alters the architectural space through the use of light, color, line and gesture.
Chihuly describes his specific approach to the Marlborough installation: In comparison to earlier work, the Chelsea installation is more open. I have always been interested in architectural spaces and how a work of art can bring energy and attention to a room. For Chelseas large ground floor gallery, I wanted to create an installation that is dramatic and powerful. I do that with form, light and color. The magic is in the light. Each Persian glass element is dramatically lit to bring out the details in the white, clear and red glass. Chihuly remarks that this reduced palette emphasizes the delicate nature of the individual works, seen clearly upon close inspection. He continues, Light plays a key role in the Chelsea Persians. During the day when natural light floods the space, the glass is subdued, but at night the Persians are lit dramatically, creating excitement and a sense of movement.
Some people will say that the Persians and the stainless steel armatures remind them of branches, vines or ivy, or something aquatic, from the sea. A lot of my work seems to be derived from nature, but I do not actually imitate it. Over time, I developed a natural way of working with glass, using the fewest number of tools possible: fire, gravity, centrifugal force. As a result, it begins to look like it was made by nature.
In addition to Chelsea Persians, Chihuly will exhibit a group of silvered sculptures that continue his exploration of glass and its relationship with light and reflection. These works, specifically Silvered Venetian with Gold Amber Horns, 2010, and Silvered Venetian with Trio of Horns, 2010, are essays in light and, according to the artist, were inspired by his series Grande Venetians executed in 2009. He has also applied this technique to a series of Jerusalem Cylinders, also in the show, to great effect.
Art historian Barbara Rose aptly characterized Chihulys achievements: He has single-handedly elevated glass from craft to art and reconciled glassblowing with the demands of contemporary avant-garde concerns and aesthetics.
Dale Chihulys work is included in over one-hundred-ninety museum collections on five continents. These include such diverse institutions as the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Highlights of Chihulys extensive exhibition history include the ambitious show, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000, for which he created extraordinary installations within the ancient stone walls of the Tower of David Museum. In September of that same year he traveled to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, to unveil an eighteen-foot chandelier gracing the main entrance of the museum. In 2001, the V&A devoted an important solo exhibition to Chihulys work. The next year, Chihuly unveiled the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, an extraordinary technical and artistic accomplishment, in Tacoma, Washington, and millions viewed his installations for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Since then he has exhibited in numerous public institutions, including a series of sublime exhibitions at botanical gardens, including the New York Botanical Garden in 2006.
Concurrent with Marlboroughs exhibition, Chilulys work can be seen in numerous solo shows at museums across the United States, including at the Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids through September 30 and the Cheekwood Gardens and the Frist Center for the Arts, both in Nashville, TN, on view through October 31 and January 2, 2011, respectively.