Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chihuly Glasshouse and Gardens Part 1

September 2017 - Seattle WA

John decided we had to make a trip to Seattle while out west so that I we could visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass that opened after we visited Seattle.

I will split this into two posts, one inside the glasshouse and the other in the garden.

We had seen some of these pieces when he had a show in Toronto at the ROM last summer.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. The exhibit opened in 2012.
It replaced the Fun Forest that we remember from our visit to the Needle in 2008.

Fun Forest

This is so much more inviting than a bunch of rickety rides.

The project includes three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits, with significant secondary spaces including a 90-seat café with additional outdoor dining, a 50-seat multi-use theater and lecture space, retail and lobby spaces, and extensive public site enhancements beyond the Garden.

In the first gallery, the neon-white slim stems of “Glass Forest” curl upward from their bubbles in a 1970s groove. Conceived while the artist was teaching in New York, it was groundbreaking for glass art. The work stretches indefinitely into the mirrors behind and beneath.

Then comes a room full of the Seaforms inspired by Puget Sound: seven Persians (large gold vessels sprouting giant glass kelp, octopi and crabs) surrounding a central aqua-indigo standing chandelier of twisted glass pieces, dotted with gold-dusted urchins and snails. Everything’s poised on mirrored black bases, with black walls to highlight the glowing iridescence of the glass.

Details on the above piece.

Then follows the long room of Mille Fiori, the glass garden of curvy red stems and tropical glass foliage first exhibited for the opening of Tacoma Art Museum’s new building in 2003.

I loved these pieces. The last indoor gallery hosts 19 Macchias, the wide-lipped shells “spotted” with glass shards and standing larger than life around the dark walls.

The installation inside of the Glasshouse is an expansive 100-foot long sculpture and is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures.


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