CHIHULY at Schantz Galleries 2016

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CHIHULY at Schantz Galleries 2016

CHIHULY at Schantz Galleries 2016 July 8–August 28

Chihuly’s Persians were first exhibited as part of his solo show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of the Palais du Louvre in Paris in 1986. The series alludes to the romance and blossoming of a bygone age and to a transient fragile beauty preserved in the present.

Sienna Yellow Persian Set with Flame Orange Lip Wraps 2002, 14 x 27 x 18"

It is an honor to present Chihuly at Schantz Galleries 2016, the first presentation of Dale Chihuly’s work at our gallery in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Chihuly’s legacy and influence on the history and growth of glass as an art form are unparalleled, and he has become a cultural icon through his willingness to share his ideas and encourage experimentation. I have had the privilege of knowing and representing Dale and his work since the mideighties. While I was witnessing the evolution of his work, one of the most poignant meetings was at the Creative Glass Center in the summer of 1996 where he premiered his film River of Glass as the keynote speaker at the Center’s annual meeting. A couple months afterwards, he installed Chihuly Over Venice. This project would have a profound impact on his work and transform his career and work as an artistic medium. It also transformed our gallery. Chihuly has designed the show to work within the architecture of our gallery by presenting sculptural works from his established series, such as the Baskets, Cylinders, Ikebana, and Venetians, along with a wall of Drawings. The two Chandeliers and Persian Wall featured at Schantz Galleries were also created specifically for the show. These two magnificent Chandeliers explore a range of scale and exemplify Chihuly’s long-standing interest in the integration of architecture and glass as a means of defining interior space. Schantz Galleries is pleased to be able to bring this fantastic collection to New England and beyond. We feel very fortunate that we can present the art of Chihuly to our audience, and would like to thank all of the members at Team Chihuly for the coordinated effort to make this show possible. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to Dale Chihuly for his incredible work, creative inspiration, and his contribution to the arts. Jim Schantz 2016

Golden Amethyst Persian Wall 2016, 35 x 74" (detail next)

Sunrise Topaz Chandelier 2016, 14 x 6 x 5 ½' (detail next)

A Place of Wonder It is our tendency, in an attempt to understand an artist, to contextualize him or her within certain frameworks, whether they be of medium, time and place, or style. We lapse into simplified definitions in order to better grasp an artist’s motivations and better appreciate the person’s vision. These habits have their intellectual purpose, but the essence of great art is the visceral reaction that we have when in its presence. Dale Chihuly is an artist who cannot be wrapped in a box. He is an intuitive thinker, a citizen of his imagination, the chief of his own creative tribe. Cultural assimilations shift effortlessly, and his artwork adjusts with facility according to his inspiration. He is educated in global and historical trends and looks to certain artistic forebears for creative guidance. But he is not limited by borders, expectations, conventions, or—given the unpredictability when glass meets fire—even by the edges of his own mind. When the first glass chandeliers were illuminated by candle three hundred years ago, their makers realized that the simple refraction of light off glass produced a sumptuous effect. Chihuly’s Chandeliers amplify ambient light as it dances through uncommon shapes, scale and colors. Cascading nests of serpentine elements in Sunrise Topaz Chandelier reflect in a conflagration of golden reds and oranges, while turbulent shadows climb the walls like wild, tentacled ivy. A single element and tone is repeated hundreds of times in Clear Platinum Hornet Chandelier, aggrandizing the elemental through repetition. An infinite collection of individual moments of reflection explodes into a buzzing optical hive. Works such as Princeton Orange Basket Set with Lava Black Lip Wraps, with multiple similarly shaped and colored vessels nestled together, also highlight the boundless possibilities of perception. The forms may seem straightforward, but the relationships between each object and the others, and between the objects and the viewer, are richly complex. The contrasting lip lines elucidate the many shapes and angles achieved in the assemblage. Of the Basket works, Chihuly recalled seeing Northwest Coast Indian baskets at the Washington State Historical Society, in Tacoma, and being “struck by the grace of their slumped, sagging forms. I wanted to capture this grace in glass.” A visual counterpoint to the Baskets are the intentionally stylized Ikebana, inspired by the Japanese art of flower arrangement, in which a single twig, leaf, or blossom and its container are carefully placed to create a harmonious whole. Iridium Black Ikebana with Emerald Leaf quietly captures the eventual wilting of beauty; what is left behind is an elegant memento to the inexorable cycle of life. The Venetians were inspired by a visit to a private collection of Venetian Art Deco glass from the 1920s and 1930s, which Chihuly described as “odd, with garish colors. Most were classical shapes with beautiful handles and other unusual additions.” Instead of containing nature, the canonical vaselike body of Clear Venetian with Indigo Flowers becomes the nucleus around which the exuberant flowers flourish. Instead of a vase with conventional handles, Magenta Piccolo Venetian with Fuchsia Leaves is a bulb enveloped by flaming leaves, reaching up and licking the sky. The Venetians are unconventional in their use of ornamentation, and also stunning in the treatment of

the glass itself. The effervescent Silvered Dusty Turquoise Piccolo Venetian with Sapphire Leaves is a combination of dappled and striated areas of disparate pigments, flecked with glinting metal. Chihuly’s Cylinders use an economy of form to privilege design and allow the surface of the glass to become a canvas. Using a technique he calls “pick-up drawing,” he first creates a detailed glass drawing out of hundreds of glass threads and places that drawing on a steel surface called a marvering table. The Cylinder is then blown in the traditional way. Just after the final gather of glass, the Cylinder is rolled over the drawing, fusing it to the surface. Inspired by Native American textiles, the black surfaces tremble with dynamism. Swirling orbs overlay whipping strands and frame enigmatic symbols, sometimes gathering just loosely enough to form the image of something recognizable. For Chihuly, drawing is not limited to surface decoration but is an art in and of itself, both independent of and reciprocal with the glass work. Chihuly’s works on paper, which began in the 1980s as a means of communication—illustrating his ideas to Italian master glassblowers—became energetic interpretations of form, color, and mark making. These drawings celebrate the limitlessness of Chihuly’s creative imagination, containing forms without edges, sweeping gestures leaping off the page, and designs that have achieved sovereignty from the glass objects they were meant to decorate or inspire. His use of the Golden brand of liquid acrylics in plastic squeeze bottles, allowed him to experiment more freely with the application of the material and precipitate effects ranging from circles to splashes, dots to lines. Timothy Anglin Burgard, author of the essay in The Art of Dale Chihuly, wrote, “Emulating [Jackson] Pollock’s famous drip and pour techniques . . . , Chihuly squirts, pours, and drips these paints onto a paper or canvas support laid on the ground . . . and then spreads them with brushes, brooms, and his own hands, thus giving physical form to his stream-of-consciousness aesthetic.” Dale Chihuly’s oeuvre is as much a cultural journey as it is a passport into the world of his imagination. The Persians resonate with the notion that Chihuly does not emulate—he creates. The Persians are so named not because of any direct connection with a place but because they evoke the alluring romanticism associated with orientalism. Sienna Yellow Persian Set with Flame Orange Lip Wraps is a billowing sea creature, steadfast despite its gossamer shell, simultaneously so natural it feels as if it might take a breath and so fantastical we know it must be art. Chihuly defies neat categorization and cannot be pinned down by tidy art historical parlance. This creative freedom yields a varied and awe-inspiring body of work—allowing viewers to escape their own box and venture into a borderless place of wonder.

Jeanne Koles is an independent museum professional with a focus on cultural communications.

“What makes the Chandeliers work for me is the massing of color. If you take up to hundreds of blown pieces of one color, put them together, and then shoot light through them, now that’s going to be something to look at.” —Dale Chihuly

Clear Platinum Hornet Chandelier 2016, 53 x 36 x 36� (detail opposite)

Princeton Orange Basket Set with Lava Black Lip Wraps 2001, 8 x 15 x 15"

Orange Chrome Basket Set with Tar Lip Wraps 2001, 11 x 10 x 8"

Burnt Orange Basket Set with Black Lip Wraps 1998, 11 x 17 x 18"

Harrison Red Basket Set with Slate Lip Wraps 2003, 11 x 12 x 11"

Tiger Striped Ikebana with Cobalt Stem and Russet Leaf 1992, 57 x 32 x 15"

“If it’s a Venetian or a form, a round form, that has separate parts coming out of it, then it’s an Ikebana.” —Dale Chihuly

Iridium Black Ikebana with Emerald Leaf 1992, 33 x 25 x 19"

“We had a great time putting these together—always going further, pushing beyond what we had done in each previous piece. Handles changed to knots, prunts became claws, colors went from subtle to bright and forms from symmetrical to asymmetrical.” —Dale Chihuly

Silvered Opaline and Black Venetian 1988, 20 x 16 x 7"

Clear Venetian with Slate and Iris Gold Spotted Lilies 2009, 24 x 20 x 20"

Clear Venetian with Indigo Flowers 2012, 22 x 14 x 12"

Sapphire Venetian 2011, 28 x 15 x 15"

Sky Blue Piccolo Venetian with Pearl Lilies 2013, 9 x 8 x 7"

Gilded Bottle Green Piccolo Venetian with Leaves 2013, 12 x 7 x 8"

Marigold Piccolo Venetian with Navy Flowers and Coils 2013, 13 x 8 x 5"

Clear Piccolo Venetian with Gilded Blue Flowers and Coils 2013, 10 x 8 x 6"

Magenta Piccolo Venetian with Fuchsia Leaves 2013, 14 x 6 x 10"

Silvered Dusty Turquoise Piccolo Venetian with Sapphire Leaves 1999, 11 x 4 x 4"

Silvered Piccolo Venetian with Gilded Slate Blue Handles 2009, 16 x 13 x 7"

Gold and Plum Piccolo Venetian with Purple Handles 2002, 10 x 11 x 5"

Black Cylinders

Black Cylinder #23 2006, 20 x 8 x 8"

Black Cylinder 2008, 11 x 7 x 7"

Black Cylinder 2008, 16 x 9 x 9"

“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.” ­—Dale Chihuly

Chandelier Drawing 1997, 60 x 40"

Venetian Drawing 2006, 30 x 22"

Burned Black Ikebana Drawing 2007, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2009, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2007, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2009, 30 x 22"

Ikebana Drawing 2011, 30 x 22"

Float Drawing 2012, 30 x 22"

Ikebana Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Burned Ivory Ikebana Drawing 2007, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2008, 30 x 22"

Piccolo Venetian Drawing 2009, 30 x 22"

Ikebana Drawing 2012, 30 x 22"

Reed Drawing 1999, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Float Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Float Drawing 2013, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2014, 30 x 22"

Basket Drawing 2014, 30 x 22"

Leslie Jackson Chihuly and Dale Chihuly The Boathouse hotshop, Seattle, 2015

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale 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. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Chihuly has created more than a dozen well-known series of works, among them, Cylinders and Baskets in the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Persians, and Venetians in the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers in the 1990s; and Fiori in the 2000s. He is also celebrated for large architectural installations. In 1986, he was honored with a solo exhibition, Dale Chihuly objets de verre, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris. In 1995, he began Chihuly Over Venice, for which he created sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice. In 1999, Chihuly started an ambitious exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London curated the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A. Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005. Other major exhibition venues include the de Young Museum in San Francisco, in 2008; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2011; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2013. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.

Black Basket Drawing 2007, 60 x 40"


Special thanks to: Susan Marabito and Team Chihuly Photography: All artwork images Š Chihuly Studio Essay: Jeanne Koles Design: Kim Saul ŠSchantz Galleries 2016

3 Elm Street Stockbridge, MA 413-298-3044 Cover Image: Clear Venetian with Slate and Iris Gold Spotted Lilies (detail), 2009, 24 x 20 x 20"

Schantz Galleries c o n t e m p o r a r y

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CHIHULY at Schantz Galleries 2016

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