About a month ago, I’ve been to one of the best art exhibition I have ever been in Montreal – Chihuly. Unfortunately the exhibition is over and I didn’t have a blog back then but why not still write an entry about it? This marvellous exhibition might be heading off to another museum or the MBAM might present another of his work in the future so I thought it is still pretty relevant to write about my experience on this humongous piece of work.
This is what caught my attention at first. I am also a huge fan of blown-glass objects. And this sculpture of 4 meters of diameters attracts the eyes of everybody that passes by. It is very hypnotizing. With all the posters surrounding the museum, I talked to my boyfriend about going to this exhibition and we finally got to do it in September. Best decision ever. It was grandiosely breathtaking.
The Sun: Forms a round tower over 4 meters in diameters emitting rays composed of tendrils in primary colours; 2 shades of yellow with elements of blue and red.
The exhibition is divided into 8 sections (if you don’t count The Sun which is presented outside of the museum), which are all an exploration of the plastic potential of blown glass and the whole art work is very distinctive by its use of extremely rich colours. Using breath and centrifugal force, gravity and fire, Chihuly plays with colours, reflections and organic forms. Moreover, he uses the techniques of repetition, accumulation and layering arrangements of modular and singular elements to create unparalleled rhythms and visual effects. The way the light hits these pieces of work is so fascinately beautiful. You are instantly being immersed in another dimension, another world.
Since his early childhood, Chihuly has loved flowers, a passion he attributes to his mother’s delight in gardening and gardens. This very strong thematic is presented in his biggest and one of the most spectacular piece in this exhibition Mille Fiori, and throughout the whole exhibition. Here are all the 8 parts of Chihuly.
1 – Turquoise Reeds: Vast idyllic forest. 199 forms looking like spears springing from the trunks of an old western red cedar. This offers striking contrasts between the various colours, densities and textures of the material used.
2 – Persian Colonnade: This monumental piece is taking place on all the top of the staircase and takes us into the artist’s colourful world of flowers.
3 – Chandeliers and Towers: It combines blown glass with steel frameworks, resembling stalagmites and stalactites in the caves.
4- Macchia forest: sculptural bowls characterized by their undulating sides and tims and by their large format. Assembled on slender steel pedestals and lit from above, the brilliantly coloured macchia are brought to life by the light shining on them and is reflected on the surrounding walls.
5 – Mille Fiori: mounted on an imposing low plinth, stands some 2 and a half meters high. With its arrangements of irregular shapes and sumptuous colours, this installation looks like an enchanted garden.
6 – Persian ceiling: It consist of various series of work in a multitude of shapes, forms and vivid colours arranged in layers over plates of transparent glass. It creates a kaleidoscopic effect of infinite repetition, suggesting the magical space of a Persian Carpet.
7 – The Boats: presentation of old boats floating on pools of water in gardens or incorporates them into the environment he dreamed up for museums.
8 – Glass Forest #6: Dozens of slumped spheres rears upwards like germinated seeds. This is made of blown white glass filled with argon gas and neon which produces pink shades. The ethereal silhouettes looming up in the darkness creates an eerie effect.