Your fine art information site since 1995

Dale Chihuly

A prolific artist, Dale Chihuly is primarily lauded for moving blown glass out of the confines of small, precious objects and into the realm of large-scale contemporary sculpture. He is known for such memorable installation exhibitions as "Chihuly Over Venice" (1995-96), "Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000," and "Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass" at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory (2001-2002). The prodigious artist employs collaborative teams and a division of labor as part of the developmental process. He creates complex, multipart sculptures of dramatic beauty that place him in the forefront of the movement towards establishing the blown glass form as an accepted vehicle for installation and environmental art at the end of the twentieth century.

Artist Dale Chihuly, born in 1941, lives and works in Seattle. He received a B.A. from the University of Washington, an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and an M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In 1969 he established the glass program at RISD, where he taught full-time for more than a decade. He cofounded Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington, in 1971.

His well-known series of works include Cylinders, Baskets, Seaforms, Persians, and Venetians. By the early 1990s he had begun to mass glass elements together to create large-scale works, placing some outdoors. He embarked on Chihuly Over Venice, a two-year project that developed while working in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico and concluded in 1996 in Italy, where his Chandeliers were suspended over the canals and piazzas of Venice. In 1999 he mounted Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, an exhibition of large-scale sculptures at the Citadel in the Old City in Jerusalem. In 2001 he presented his first major glasshouse exhibition at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. A pedestrian bridge, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, was dedicated and opened to the public in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington in 2002. In 2005 he exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London. An exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco opened in 2008.