Dale Chihuly




Macchia showcases eight hand-blown glass artworks by Dale Chihuly from his Macchia series. Chihuly of Seattle, Washington, has established himself as perhaps the most famous artist alive working in the glass medium. He is one of only three Americans to have a solo show at the Louvre. The famous Pilchuck Glass Studio, which he co-founded near Seattle in 1971, draws students from around the world. He has been referred to as the "Tiffany of Contemporary Glass" by Bill Warmus, curator of the Corning Museum of Glass.

The Macchia series was first begun in 1981, when Chihuly woke up one day "wanting to use all 300 of the colors in the hotshop." As he has said, "I never met a color I didn't like."

The series developed through experimentation; technical discoveries allowed the artist to separate the interior and exterior colors, so they would not blend. Each bell-shaped Macchia has a brilliant solid-colored interior that is separated from its dappled outside by a layer of white glass "clouds." (without the clouds the inside and outside colors would visually blend into one color.) With the Macchia series, Chihuly first felt that a single piece of his glass could hold its own within a room.

When placed on stands, a group of Macchias takes on the aspect of a mystical woodland of futuristic flower-trees. Displaying the Macchias at varying heights highlights their different elements--the blast of inside color, the dizzying color spots on the outside, the strong undulating lip wrap, and the sometimes translucent bottom. Standing back to look at the installation as a whole, the viewer has the impression of experiencing every color in the spectrum all at once, with no color repeated and no color left out. The glassworks are accompanied by framed Macchia drawings, which were originally made by Chihuly as instructions for his glassblowing team. Interpretive wall text and a video complete the presentation on the artist and his theme.