The Artwork and Inspiration of Dale Chihuly

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The Artwork and Inspiration of Dale Chihuly

Anyone at all familiar with Dale Chihuly's work knows that the individual glass objects he creates represent only isolated moments inside a complex and vastly creative mind. Any of his Baskets, Chandeliers, Cylinders, or Floats is as much an image as it is an object. They reference to all the forms that precede and follow it, to the action and process that go into its making and to the intuitive form idea, which is of its origin. Chihuly's assertiveness for obsessively photographing his glass and his eagerness to have it described in words are only representations of his natural habit as an artist to gather pieces into an astonishing accumulation and his dedication for furthering his artworks by enlarging these accumulations on a much grander scale. In the ways in which he lights and installs his artwork are what makes it truly unique and indifferent. These unique ideas work to create a sense of wonder, if only by allowing the public to understand and awe at one of his works of art. In the year of 2003, Chihuly won the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Glass Art Society in Seattle, Washington; 2002 Gold Medal Award, National Arts Club, New York, New York; 2001 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut; 2007 Washington State Medal of Merit, Olympia, Washington. Chihuly's vast amount of achievements however, have only partially to do with his ability to exploit the inherent properties of glass; only partially to do with the abstract, plastic richness of his aesthetics; only partially to do, even, with his love of spectacle. Buried within these talents is an instinct for significant form and relevance. Chihuly seems to understand intuitively how certain simple form-ideas might materialize a new body of ideas and technical explorations. Even more impressive as it is, he has an unforeseen ability to recognize not just the aesthetic but the symbolic potential in what, for most of us,...
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