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San Francisco
0598_deyounginstallation_033008_tr
Dale Chihuly
de Young Museum
Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
June 14, 2008 - September 28, 2008


Nature and Culture 2; Chihuly at the de Young
by laurie halsey brown



In a much less subtle exhibition, contemporary glass works by Chihuly are on display at the De Young Museum. His works emphasize the drama of light and form that are inherent in the medium. His focus seems to be on how to conform the glass to his vision, with an interest in having the viewer ‘wowed'. The intensity and complexity of his process in relation to the sheer scale does have power, but few works resonate beyond that.

De Young Tabac Baskets, 2007 Blown Glass

The best work in the exhibition is an installation work of exquisite pieces that reference Tabac Basketry, and the Native American Indian culture surrounding them. In this, he and Traylor have a common ground: both finding inspiration from outside cultures, the two artists' usage of glass as a medium, and the references to nature in their works. There is a definite loveliness in the sensitivity of the forms in De Young Tabac Baskets, 2007 in which the glass ‘baskets' are set inside each other.

Chistro de Sant Apollonia Chandelier, 1995  Blown Glass

After seeing Traylor's exhibition, several of Chihuly's works have similar reference points as hers, although in much larger forms. The color and shapes used in Chiostro di Sant' Apollonia Chandelier could also refer to vegetation as in Traylor's work After the Rain, but after a cosmic explosion.

Neodymium Reeds, 2008 Blown Glass and Tree Limbs

Tree limbs are also incorporated into his work Neodymium Reeds, 2008, as in Traylor's two Omikuji works. Chihuly includes large glass works that elude to candles, inserted into actual logs.

There is clearly a more aggressive relationship to nature at work in Chihuly's work than in Traylor's, but both exhibitions show us the possibility of the medium of glass and how they respond to nature and culture.

--laurie halsey brown

(*Images, from top to bottom: Dale Chihuly, Chihuly at the de Young, June 14 - September 28, 2008; de Young Museum, Saffron Tower, 2008, blown glass and neon, photo by Terry Rishel.  Dale Chihuly, Chihuly at the de Young, June 14 - September 28, 2008; de Young Museum, Tabac Baskets, 2007, blown glass, photo courtesy laurie halsey brown. Dale Chihuly, Chihuly at the de Young, June 14 - September 28, 2008; de Young Museum, Chiostro di Sant' Apollonia Chandelier, 1995, blown glass, photo courtesy laurie halsey brown. Dale Chihuly, Chihuly at the de Young, June 14 - September 28, 2008; de Young Museum, Neodymium Reeds, 2008, blown glass and tree limbs, photo courtesy laurie halsey brown.)

 

 



Posted by laurie halsey brown on 8/27/08

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