Chihuly Merletto

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C HIHU LY Traver Gallery

MERLETTO



C HIHU LY Traver Gallery | Seattle | June - July 2020

MERLETTO



D

ale Chihuly’s career as an artist is storied. Recognized among the ranks of the world’s foremost living artists, his artistic achievement is one of the great stories of the Pacific Northwest. The spectacular artworks and seemingly impossible installations he creates have helped catapult glass into the realm of fine art and have sparked the imaginations of viewers everywhere. Chihuly’s influence on contemporary art and our community is undeniable, yet it is his enduring passion, energy, and creative spirit that make his work unique and truly outstanding. As Chihuly approaches his 79th birthday, he continues to innovate, inspire, and redefine glass as a sculptural medium. Nowhere is this spirit more evident than in this new exhibition, Chihuly Merletto. In June and July, Dale Chihuly will return to the gallery for his first solo exhibition in Seattle since 2013. This major exhibition unveils a new collection of C HIHU LY sculptures and drawings from the artist’s renowned Basket series. Utilizing an ancient Italian lace-like cane patterning technique, first developed in Venice in the 15th century, Chihuly Merletto elegantly integrates opaque white cane with the artist’s iconic Basket forms. We are excited to welcome Chihuly back to Traver Gallery and can’t wait to share this remarkable new collection of work with you. S A R A H T R AV E R , D I R E C T O R , T R AV E R G A L L E R Y

MERLETTO


“Since I first started working with glass in the 60s, I have had such respect for the history of the material and the ways it has been used throughout the centuries. I continue to be inspired by opportunities to apply formal techniques such as “merletto” to my more organic approach to glass.” — Chihuly


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Chihuly, wanting a crisp, pencil-like line in the white cane patterning, needed a very specific, stiff white glass. That glass formula, first developed by artist Mark Peiser, was in extremely limited supply. Chihuly worked with Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon, to recreate the formula and create a new white glass specifically for this Chihuly Merletto collection. The glass, Marko Blanko, is now a color in the Bullseye catalog and will be available for use by artists around the world.


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“I started working with the basket form in 1977 after seeing the Northwest Coast basket collection at the Washington State Historical Society. It’s exciting for me to weave “merletto,” a 15th century Venetian technique, into my newest baskets which are inspired by the rich history of Native American basket making.” — Chihuly

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Chihuly’s approach to merletto departs from the precision of the classic Venetian technique and relays expressive energy to his mesh-like patterns. His first foray into the process integrates opaque white cane to his iconic Basket series and references early Basket Drawings which Chihuly created with bundles of pencils to capture the three-dimensional form on paper.

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PAGE TWO

Merletto Basket Set (detail), 2019 #32296 8 x 19 x 16 inches PAGE FIVE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32303 12 x 28 x 22 inches

PAGE TEN, FROM LEFT

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32324 30 x 23 inches Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32322 30 x 23 inches PAGE ELEVEN

PAGES SIX AND SEVEN, FROM LEFT

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32305 9 x 22 x 17 inches

Artworks, by page number

Merletto Basket, 2019 #32309 14 x 15 x 15 inches Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32299 14 x 32 x 21 inches

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32301 8 x 22 x 21 inches PAGE TWELVE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32313 15 x 36 x 34 inches PAGE FOURTEEN

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32320 30 x 23 inches

PAGE EIGHT

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32294 13 x 27 x 29 inches

PAGE FIFTEEN

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32297 8 x 22 x 20 inches

PAGE NINE

Merletto Basket, 2019 #32295 10 x 26 x 14 inches

PAGE SIXTEEN, FROM LEFT

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32326 30 x 23 inches Scanga Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32321 30 x 23 inches


PAGE SEVENTEEN, FROM LEFT

PAGE TWENTY-THREE

PAGES THIRTY-TWO AND THIRTY-THREE,

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32317 30 x 23 inches

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32302 16 x 32 x 24 inches

FROM LEFT

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32318 30 x 23 inches

PAGES TWENTY-FOUR AND TWENTY-FIVE

Merletto Basket, 2019 #32311 13 x 35 x 27 inches

PAGE EIGHTEEN

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32315 30 x 23 inches

PAGES TWENTY-SIX AND TWENTY-SEVEN

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32298 11 x 18 x 21 inches

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32325 30 x 23 inches PAGES TWENTY AND TWENTY-ONE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32291 22 x 22 x 22 inches PAGE TWENTY-TWO

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32306 8 x 18 x 19 inches

Merletto Basket, 2019 #32310 13 x 42 x 32 inches Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32300 14 x 32 x 18 inches PAGES THIRTY-FOUR AND THIRTY-FIVE

PAGE NINETEEN, FROM LEFT

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32323 30 x 23 inches

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32304 10 x 16 x 10 inches

PAGE TWENTY-EIGHT

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32319 30 x 23 inches

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32292 13 x 29 x 25 inches PAGES THIRTY-SIX AND THIRTY SEVEN

PAGE TWENTY-NINE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32296 8 x 19 x 16 inches PAGE THIRTY

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32307 11 x 18 x 14 inches PAGE THIRTY-ONE

Italo Merletto Drawing, 2019 #32316 30 x 23 inches

Golden Alabaster Chandelier, 2020 #32314 95 x 59 x 56 inches PAGES THIRTY-EIGHT AND THIRTY-NINE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32308 19 x 37 x 29 inches PAGE FORTY

Merletto Basket (detail), 2019 #32295 10 x 26 x 14 inches PAGE FORTY-ONE

Merletto Basket Set, 2019 #32312 11 x 27 x 20 inches


Dedicated to my brother, Italo Scanga

Chihuly Merletto June 4-August 1, 2020 Traver Gallery, Seattle

travergallery.com Dale Chihuly and Italo Scanga at Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, 1974 photograph by Kate Elliott

Traver Gallery 110 Union Street, #200 Seattle, Washington 206.587.6501 All artwork by Dale Chihuly Š Chihuly Studio Photography by Scott Mitchell Leen Š Chihuly Studio

FRONT:

Merletto Basket (detail), 2019 #32295 10 x 26 x 14 inches