Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chihuly: Through The Looking Glass

It has been on display in Boston since April 10th and will be here until August 7th, which means you have the rest of the spring and a good majority of the summer to plan a trip to The Museum of Fine Arts. The Chihuly: Through The Looking Glass exhibit provides an opportunity to view the full range of Dale Chihuly's artistic achievements with hand blown glass over the last four decades. Based in Seattle, Washington, Chihuly actually works with a team of glassblowers to bring his revolutionary visions to life in grand form. Room size installations create enchanting environments with bold colors, fascinating shapes and mystical designs. It is truly an extraordinary glass blown wonderland to which my pictures do very little justice. In summary - If you're local: Go. If you're not: Patiently await the day when this exhibit comes to a museum near you. And in the meantime, feel free to live vicariously through this post."My installations are singular in scale, composition, and form. At times they sit peacefully in nature, sometimes they hang from the ceiling or spring fourth from the walls. In any setting the color, form and light unite to create something magical" ~Dale Chihuly
The Ikebana Boat is a captivating installation that grasps hold of your attention and doesn't want to let it go. The mash up of whimsical pieces float out of the boat towards you while simultaneously reflecting the smooth black Plexiglas surface below. It's a different work of art every which way you look at it. Stacked among one another ever so delicately are the Tabac Baskets, inspired by Native American baskets that Chihuly used to weave in the 70s. The way the light reflected off their muted tones of brown, tan, taupe and white turning them into sheer sparking objects was pretty amazing. In this same room, a Pendelton blanket display also commanded my attention. Unfortunately, I am not sure the connection to Chihuly, but these were gorgeous.And really, it's all about the glass so I suppose the fact that I missed the explanation of the blankets is nothing to worry about. The next installation titled Mille Fiori means One Thousand Flowers. It's a flamboyant maze of awe striking-brightly colored botanical forms. They are displayed in an arrangement of vast proportion and shape, where some garden areas are crowded and others sparse."People have asked what inspired me to do the Mille Fiori. It wasn't so much trying to replicate the plants as it was a way to work with all the techniques we've learned over the last fourty years" ~DCThis assembly combines pieces from some of his earlier work in the 80s and 90s as well as more recent work. This garden brought to life through glass at the MFA is the largest Mille Fiori to date. "My philosphy says when one is good, a dozen is better" ~DCMoving into the enchanting Persian Ceiling - you'll leave this room with a sore neck from constantly staring up, and it will be well worth it. Dynamic colors and an endless bounty of shapes radiate through the glass, it's all you can do to absorb every inch of the happenings above. It's phenomenal. The Boston Phoenix article quoted "It's like looking up from the bottom of a fairy-tale tide pool". I could sing its praises with even more fancy adjectives and exclamations, but I have a feeling you're catching on just fine. It is me, or does that yellow shape suspended below take on the fine form of martini glass?!From candy and cups to seashells and sea creatures - (there is definitely a baby octopus floating around in the shot below!) the loosely derived shapes are open to interpretation.
The next room beholds a Chandelier Gallery which contains six chandeliers, apparently more than Chihuly has included in any previous museum exhibit! These are some of his most complex structures in which thousands of elements come together to create a single powerful piece. Oynx and Caramel Colored Chandelier above.In the foreground radiating a pale light blue is the Chiostro di Sant'Apollonia Chandelier. In the background and below is the Palazzo di Loredana Balboni Chandelier.The Orange Hornet and Eelgrass Chandelier showcases a favorite complimentary color combination of bright orange and royal blue. The final MFA installation fuses the glass with nature in Neyodimium Reeds on Logs. From start to finish, this artists creative vision pushes the boundaries and blurs the ideals of art as you know them. I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be back to see it again before it leaves Boston. The exhibit rooms were super crowded. Mom, Leah, Tray and I were among the "first" to arrive when the MFA doors opened at 10am on Sunday. The museum encourages weeknight visits (with the exception of free Wednesdays) for good reason. Next door in the Art of The America's Wing the crowds become sparse over four floors and multiple galleries. I visited for the first time back in February and found myself excited to check out some favorite pieces again while happily discovering new / unseen works. Just outside the galleries, the Shapiro Family Courtyard was a buzz - especially with diners waiting in line to check out the New American Cafe, which we would have dined at had the line not been 20 deep at 11:30am. (It opens at noon.) Instead we marveled at one last glass blown statue, the Lime Green Icicle Tower which took Chihuly and his team over a week to install in the courtyard. Mounted on a steel frame, assembled on location from an original photograph, each time this statue is put together it is different than the last.I found it fascinating to learn that this 40 foot statue contains 2,342 individual pieces and weights in at a mere 10,000 pounds.
The MFA is located at 465 Huntington Avenue and can be reached by Public Transportation on the Green Line via E trains (Museum of Fine Arts stop). Visitors have ample parking options including lots which cost $6/half hours or valet.



The Sunday Funday had only just begun as the four of us set off on foot in search of lunch!! To be continued....

20 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Great photos! I am dying to see the Chihuly exhibit. I was at the MFA about a week before it opened. With all this rainy weather, a museum trip might be in order.

Di said...

I think I need to go see that exhibit. It looks so cool!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I'm really thinking of checking out this exhibit while I have the time off next week!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

So freakin' cool! My parents went to this and showed me their photos. Incredible!! Thanks for sharing.

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

We saw a few of these pieces while at an event at the MFA, very cool!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

great pics!! i need to get there- good advice...i bet the weekends are nutso.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Great pictures! I still have to visit the Chiuly exhibit!

MelissaNibbles said...

Wow, this looks beautiful. They have a small exhibit similar to this at the RISD museum. I need to check this out!

Shannon said...

what a fun exhibit! and the mfa is almost literally in my backyard, so i really should make the time to go :)

Shannon said...

Wow... what a cool exhibit. I think I'll have to check this out next month when I'm off of work for a week!

Michelle Collins said...

This looks amazing! Thanks for the heads up!

Megan said...

It all looks incredible! I should try to get over there at some point. Jeff plays softball at the field right there, so maybe I can round up another softball player's significant other to go to the museum with me during a game!

Amber Blue Bird said...

His stuff really is amazing. I saw some of his work years ago at the Botanical Garden in NY. It blew my mind

In and Around Town said...

I have been meaning to go to this, but your photos and review just made this a must see and soon! Cannot wait!

this free bird said...

Those Navajo blankets are straight up Pendleton. I would have died and gone to heaven!!

Chihuly is amazing. He's from Tacoma, WA and I used to live on an island just off of the city...their museum was HOME to his stuff and he'd do special glass blowing sessions there. It is out of this world!!

xo,
C

Kelly said...

Absolutely beautiful!! I saw some of his stuff in Pittsburgh a few years ago and was just in awe. He is amazing. I really want to know how they transport everything around, or if anything ever breaks or falls from the ceiling!

Jen said...

Wow - the pictures are amazing, so I can't imagine how cool it was to see this in person.

And good call on the martini glass - I see it, too!

Simply Life said...

I love the MFA but haven't been there is way too long!

Corinne said...

OMG! Beautiful. How DOES he do it!? I definitely have to get into the city for this, thanks for posting!

kfenton917 said...

Truly magical is right! So glad we got to see this together!