Laker Blue and Opaline Persian Chandelier
Hanging installation with a variety of shapes of blown glass mostly in shades of bright blue, white and clear.
Dale Chihuly is known for stretching the limits of glass with his big ideas and challenging color palettes, yet Chihuly did not begin his artistic practice working in glass, but rather with weaving.During an art class at the University of Washington, Chihuly incorporated glass shards into one of his woven tapestries, an experiment which led him to blow his first glass bubble just a few years later.
Experimentation still plays a crucial role in his creative process and has allowed Chihuly to develop a number of innovative techniques to achieve his artistic vision. Asymmetry and irregularity are defining principles in his work, and Chihuly has pioneered new ways of utilizing gravity and centrifugal force to let molten glass find its shape in its own organic way.
Bringing together color, light, form and space, Chihuly creates one-of-a-kind immersive experiences through his glass installations. His installations have taken shape everywhere from museums, private residences, and public gardens, to more challenging locations like an installation he created of glass hanging over the canals and in the piazzas of his favorite city, Venice, Italy. A number of Chihuly sculptures and installations can be viewed across the world and right here in Michigan including installations at the Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Flint Institute of Arts.
This sculpture, created specifically for this location and GVSU, is representative of the artist’s Persian series.
First exhibited in 1986 as part of his exhibition at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre in Paris, Chihuly’s Persian series is a celebration of form, scale and color. Originally presented on pedestals, the series’ dramatic compositions have evolved to include installations mounted on walls, overhead on ceilings, and assembled in the form of chandeliers and towers. For Chihuly, Persians evoke an ancient sensibility and conjure notions of Venice, and the Near and Far East. The use of ribbed optic molds is essential to the aesthetic of Persians. Molten glass, ringed by linear wraps, is plunged into these molds to create repetitive patterns. When blown out, the bubbles are transformed into swirling, irregularly shaped rondels with fascinating detail.
“The Persians started out as a search for new forms. We worked for a year on experimental Persians … we made at least a thousand or more,” said Dale Chihuly.