Exhibition Dates: Chihuly at the Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia Street, December 4 – 31, 2004; in conjunction with Chihuly at the Arthur Roger Gallery Project, 730 Tchoupitoulas, December 9, 2004 – February 26, 2005
Gallery Hours: Arthur Roger Gallery on Julia Street: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Arthur Roger Gallery Project on Tchoupitoulas: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999.

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new glass sculpture and installations by internationally-acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly from his newest body of work, the Fiori series. Highlights include a 6-foot-tall glass installation tilted Mille Fiori XV, 2004 and the breathtaking Gilded Sapphire Chandelier, 2004. A series of spectacular installations presented at the Arthur Roger Gallery Project on Tchoupitoulas will fill the entire gallery from December 9, 2004 to February 26, 2005. Concurrently, a singular multi-part installation titled Mille Fiori II, 2004 will be presented in the rear gallery of the Arthur Roger Gallery on Julia Street for the month of December. An opening reception will be held Saturday, December 4, from 6 to 8pm at the Arthur Roger Gallery on Julia Street. The gallery will host a special opening reception at the Arthur Roger Gallery Project on Thursday, December 9, from 6 to 8pm. The public is invited to attend the receptions at both galleries.

Chihuly’s inspired new Fiori series continues his move in the direction of organic, free flowing forms. Although the series evolved from his recent 2002 exhibition at Chicago’s Garfield Conservatory, Fiori, with its plantlike forms, further extends his career-long proclivity for placing forms in natural and unique environments. In this new series, which first appeared as Mille Fiori (Italian for a thousand flowers) in an installation at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2003, Chihuly revisits and refines many of the forms and techniques that have appeared throughout his career. Combined with exciting new elements, he creates spectacular installations that are true gardens of glass rather than glass forms within gardens. The artist’s fascination with gardens is strongly autobiographical. He has noted that due to his mother’s passion for gardening, he grew up surrounded by flowers, and that some of his early influences could have been the garden.

The exhibition at the Arthur Roger Gallery Project will present 11 theatrical displays created by Chihuly and his team specifically for this installation from hundreds of hand blown glass elements that range in size from six inches to more than seven feet in height. The series of installations together create a dazzling display evocative of a luscious tropical garden landscape of flowers, gourds, reeds and fantastical foliage in a stunning range of colors. Flamboyant fantasy flora will be animated by natural light during the day and dramatized brilliantly in the evening as myriad organic shapes are spot-lit to dazzling effect and are mirrored in reflective platforms and in shadows behind. Chihuly’s magical River Blue Chandelier, 2004, will be suspended above the field of botanical forms. Additionally, a wall installation of works on paper will reveal a different facet of the artist’s creative process. A video display will show Chihuly and his team at work, creating glass and installing his artwork around the world. Concurrent with the exhibition at the Arthur Roger Gallery Project, an additional platform installation by Chihuly titled Mille Fiori II, 2004, will fill the rear gallery of the Arthur Roger Gallery on Julia Street. Books and related material on Chihuly will be available in both galleries.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly became captivated by the process of glassblowing while studying interior design and architecture at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country at the University of Wisconsin, where he received an M.S. in Sculpture in 1967. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (R.I.S.D.) where he earned an M.F.A. in Ceramics in 1968. In 1969 he established the glass program at R.I.S.D. and taught there for 11 years. Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1968 to work at the Venini Factory in Venice, Italy, where he observed the team approach to glass blowing which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. With this international glass center he has led the avant garde in the development of glass as a fine art. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Chihuly developed signature forms in series such as his Baskets, Seaforms, Ikebana, Venetians and Chandeliers, which continue to reappear with fresh variations and within new contexts.

Dale Chihuly has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, and his work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He is world renowned for his talent for incorporating architecture and landscape into his art as well as his interest in the interplay of natural light on the glass that exploits its translucency and transparency. Chihuly is widely credited with changing “both the perception and reception of glass as an art form,” according Thomas Michie, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. The artist’s sensitivity to architectural context is confirmed by his complex large-scale architectural glass art installations, including Chihuly Over Venice (1995–96); Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (2000); Chihuly at the V&A at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2001); and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma (2002). Gardens provide the dominant theme in Chihuly’s most recent installations including Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass, at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory (2001–02); Mille Fiori at the Tacoma Art Museum (2003); Chihuly at the Conservatory, Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio (2004); Chihuly in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden (2004-05); as well as his future project at Kew Gardens, London, from May 2005 to January 2006.