Exhibition Review – Dale Chihuly, the Halcyon Gallery

1669 words 7 pages
Exhibition Review – Dale Chihuly, the Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly is an American artist, born September 20th, 1941 who is known for his glass sculptures. One of his most well known pieces is the blue and green glass sculpture hanging in the front entrance of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (figure 1). His work has included over 200 museum collections worldwide, and I visited his exhibition in the Halcyon Gallery on New Bond Street in London on the 23rd of January 2012.

The entire exhibition was made up of glass sculptures fitting into several different genres created by the artist; for example ‘Seaforms’, ‘Persians’, both created in the 1980’s, and ‘Fiori’, which he created in the 2000’s. Chihuly explored a variety of glass
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The depth of colour in the centre of the two sculptures compared to the lighter outer sections and components draws the viewer’s eye further into the gallery. Within the exhibition Chihuly also included a small selection of paintings and drawings (figure 12), which although similar in motives to the flowing 3D sculptures, provided a pleasant contrast to all of the sculptures. The similarities in colour brought all the pieces in the exhibition together, and I feel they also all share the common theme of expression of movement, life and growth. Although the 2D and 3D pieces show similarities, the 2D paintings and drawings express a rapidness and spontaneity that the obviously very carefully, slowly crafted sections of the 3D glasswork do not. I like that while this artist clearly excels and leads his main area of work (glass), he also explores other media and ways of working.
The pieces in the exhibition were not labeled or explained, but I feel this only added to the mystical air about the work, as it left the continuous shapes and colours open to the manipulation of the viewer’s imagination.
He began working in glass when no one else was, other than its use in crafts, and his works show his investigation of the properties of glass and it’s abilities and uses as a medium. He tries to use as few tools as possible to allow him to fully explore the manipulation of glass