Sunday, June 09, 2013

MMFA: Dale Chihuly Exhibition

Chihuly: Utterly Breathtaking

June 8 - October 30, 2013

"I'm obsessed with colour - never saw one I didn't like." Dale Chihuly

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting a Canadian exclusive exhibition of works of the American artist Dale Chihuly. He is considered as the “Tiffany” of our times, after having revolutionized the Studio Glass movement, elevating glass from the realm of craft to that of fine art. The fine example of this is his sculpture The Sun seen on the photo above. It consists of 1,200 pieces of glass - sun rays and solar explosions.

This exhibition is made to measure for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Chihuly paid a special attention to measuring  all the designated spaces at the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion to create a unique layout. This resulted in eight immersive environments, four of which were designed specifically for MMFA. One of them is the arrangement seen in the image on the upper left. This installation is placed just above the staircase which leads to the Chihuly exhibition. The image on the bottom shows Chihuly's sculpure Turquoise Reeds that greet the visitors at the top of the same staircase. (Click on an image to get an enlarged photo view as well as a photo gallery of all the images in the text.)

Chihuly's artistic imagery comes from natural forms seen in nature. Since childhood, Chihuly had a special affinity to nature and vegetation. He attributes this toe to his mother's profound love for gardens and gardening.  

Chihuly's Persian Ceiling is a powerful work. Though the room itself is empty and the installation proper covers only the entire ceiling, the light play on the walls and throughout the space animates the room.

An entire large room is devoted to huge glass chandeliers. Together, they create a chandelier installation which really resembles an enchanted tree forest.

There is another installation at the exhibition which is called a forest, a Glass Forest, quite different from the forest effect created in the chandeliers room. It is a neon light forest.

Another theme is that of boats and water. Two boats on display are quite spectacular, and there reflection in the black surface creates the illusion of water.

 Dale Chihuly's love of natural forms and vegetation and the way he translates it into his art will delight visitors of all ages: small children as well as grown ups.

Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts's website for more information

You can purchase a superbly illustrated Chihuly catalogue at the Museum's Boutique and Store.

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