Jade Green Seaform Studio Edition
“Glass is a very magical material, and what it does is allow light to go through it because it’s transparent or translucent. . . . It’s like looking at light itself, and that’s true with water,” states Dale Chihuly. Drawing upon these qualities of his chosen medium, it was a natural progression for the artist to recruit the elemental forces of gravity in order to create the gracefully poised marine forms recognized as his Seaforms. Chihuly’s innate use of color magnifies this influence of transparent light and its similarity to water. His efforts have resulted in a series that cause one to ask, was it made by man, or was it made by nature?
The 2016 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition Jade Green Seaform harkens back to 1980, when Chihuly first began developing this organic series, in which he originally chose a softer color palette. Washed in tones of aquatic green, this two-piece composition echoes the vestiges of these early works. The large element transitions from rich, saturated color at the top to a transparent base through which the smaller element, nestled within, can be distinguished. Deeper green “beads” resembling sea urchin markings striate the surface of each element and accentuate the visual allure of the entire sculpture. Each piece is highlighted with a citron lip wrap.
Signed by the artist, the handblown Jade Green Seaform Studio Edition measures approximately seven inches in diameter and is accompanied by a Plexiglas display case and the hardcover book Chihuly Seaforms, with an essay by Davira S. Taragin and a companion DVD that details the historical context and inspiration out of which this series arose.
Mandarin Yellow Persian Studio Edition
Spontaneous combinations of fire, breath, centrifugal force, and gravity are key components in the creation of Dale Chihuly’s charismatic Persian series. “Their energy expands and explodes the fundamental spherical or cylindrical shapes of blown glass into eccentric and unforeseen new forms,” notes acclaimed art historian and critic Barbara Rose. With its free-spirited essence and asymmetry, the Persian series is a visual presentation of the glassblowing process—an intuitive yet technical execution—like a frozen fluid thought.
This two-piece 2016 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition, Mandarin Yellow Persian, speaks to the unrestrained movement and energy for which this series is renowned. An outer band of golden yellow rims the larger element, fading to an incandescent transparency as the dynamic white body wrap, with a fine, dark line running through it, emphasizes the sweeping motion of the sculpture’s ribbing and scallops. The application of the twisted body wrap to the smaller element perched within continues the symbiotic dialogue. Providing a complementary tension, a black lip wrap is executed on both elements.
Measuring approximately ten inches across, this signed, handblown work is presented in a Plexiglas vitrine. The ensemble is completed by the Chihuly Workshop publication Chihuly Persians, with an essay by Davira S. Taragin and a DVD informing the series.
Nordic Blue Macchia Studio Edition
A stained-glass window and a foggy day inspired Dale Chihuly’s vibrantly bold series Macchia. “I remembered that if one was looking at a stained-glass window . . . the window usually didn’t look as colorful when there was a bright blue sky in the background as it did when it was foggy. It’s the white of the fog, like a light table, that allows you to see the true colors,” the artist has stated. In 1981, Chihuly began implementing a process to achieve an effect similar to what he had noticed. Sandwiching a layer of white glass in between two colored glass layers allowed him to create daring combinations in his Macchia series, fully expressing his innate passion for color.
Layer upon layer of glass compose Nordic Blue Macchia, a 2016 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition. Clouds of variegated blues eclipse the exterior while a secondary layer of orange and chartreuse flecks dances across the surface of this compelling form. These flecks, called “jimmies,” are small chips of glass that are barely melted into the composition, creating an unmistakable presence and dimension. The vivid red-orange interior, glimpsed through small patches of translucency, provides a luminous inner glow. A yellow-orange lip wrap captures the definitive undulations of this series, derived from the combined spontaneity of gravity and human breath.
Chihuly’s signature is engraved on each handblown work, which stands approximately nine inches tall. A custom-designed display vitrine and Chihuly Macchia, a hardcover book with an informative short DVD that details the series developed by Chihuly in the early 1980s, accompany this collectible Studio Edition.
Star Fire Seaform Studio Edition
Reflecting on the properties of glass, Dale Chihuly notes, “You can blow it and make fine art of human breath. It’s like being able to manipulate water.” The yielding and supple forms of the artist’s Seaform series proved fertile ground for him to implement a technique he observed during his apprenticeship at the Venini factory in Murano, Italy: the body wrap. The application of these thin, sinuous ribbons of color to the body of the form further enhanced the aquatic simile of this series. “The Seaforms call forth associations with water, marine life and movement without depicting them, and that’s why they so persuasively affect us as art,” notes writer and art critic Joan Seeman Robinson.
The two elements composing the 2016 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition Star Fire Seaform exhibit an intricate example of the traditional Venetian wrap. The larger element, which is asymmetrical as if shaped by tidal motions into its final form, is wreathed by a brilliant, twisted orange and red body wrap that accentuates its rhythmic swells. Inside rests a slightly more opaque element displaying the same tonal attributes while anchoring the focal point of the sculpture. A navy blue lip wrap is applied to each element, providing a graphic finale.
Each handblown Star Fire Seaform measures approximately ten inches in diameter, with Chihuly’s signature engraved into the glass. A Plexiglas vitrine and a copy of Chihuly Seaforms, a compact book including a DVD and an essay by Davira S. Taragin describing the historical and aesthetic contexts of this series, complete the ensemble.
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