Dale Chihuly, who was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1941, has become an internationally celebrated personality in contemporary art and design whose prominence in the field of contemporary studio glass is unmatched. He is a generous and charismatic individual with a forceful personality, who ceaselessly promotes himself and his material, glass, to audiences around the world.
For those who might question the influence of a single artist on what has become a sizable international community, try imagining what the early American studio glass movement, or international glass today, would be without Chihuly. It is impossible to deny the magnitude and pervasiveness of his influence.
In reviewing Chihuly’s prolific and varied oeuvre, his most daring and important works are his architectural and outdoor installations. In the 1970s, he collaborated with James Carpenter on a number of installations using neon and ice, as well as sculptural glass elements, to create environments. Chihuly did not focus again on this type of activity until the later 1980s, when he gradually developed his Persians to interact with architectural settings, making all sorts of wall and window installations before moving to ceilings and floors. The Persian ceilings are particularly remarkable for their transformational and transcendent qualities, and they have become a kind of symbolic, ceremonial architecture.
The Chihuly Gallery: