Vibrant and effervescent color. Exciting and unusual forms. Dale Chihuly’s works in glass are full of spectacle, grandeur, and artistry. Many LRMA visitors have fallen in love with Chihuly after seeing his fabulous Chandelier installed as part of our 90th Anniversary celebration in 2013. A native of Washington state, the artist is one of the world’s foremost glass sculptors. After working in Venice, Italy in 1968, Chihuly introduced America to the European “team concept” of glass production, where a group of artists work together to create a single object. In 1971 he founded the renowned Pilchuck Glass School outside of Seattle.
The stunning exhibition Dale Chihuly: Venetians will introduce visitors to the innovations of the most celebrated glass artist of our time. Presented are works from Chihuly’s Venetians series, which was inspired by the Art Deco style glass he saw during a trip back to the Italian city in 1988. After returning to the United States, he began to invent lively and unique versions of the classic pieces. This was done in collaboration with Pino Signoretto and Lino Tagliapietra, two of Italy’s finest glass maestros.
All works on display are from the George R. Stroemple Collection, S & S Collaboration. The George R. Stroemple Collection is an outstanding private collection of contemporary studio glass in Portland Oregon. The nearly four dozen vessels in the exhibition include: Putti Venetians, ambitious vessels featuring figurative sculptures of putti and mythological creatures in the designs; Piccolo Venetians, the smaller but no less spirited vessels originally based on traditional Venetian themes; Bottlestoppers, three monumental vessels inspired by perfume bottles and surmounted by sculptures made by Pino Signoretto; and a selection of Chihuly drawings, evidence of his creative process as he conceived of the Venetian designs.
In the Venetians series–called by art critic Donald Kuspit a “toast to life”–Chihuly created dazzling work, with blazing hues, coiled tendrils, exaggerated flora and spirited putti.
The exhibition was generously sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts, Foil-Wyatt Architects, First State Bank, Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, and Ms. Ruth Tant.