Published: April 4, 2017
BRONX, N.Y. – “Chihuly,” a major new exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden this spring, will spotlight renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s innovation and experimentation in a variety of media throughout his career. This will be his first major garden exhibition in more than ten years in New York.
The exhibition will feature approximately 20 installations as well as drawings and early works revealing the evolution and development of Chihuly’s artistic process. Among the singular sights, one of the new installations will draw inspiration from Chihuly’s storied 1975 “Artpark” installation. Set within the garden’s landmark landscape and buildings, this groundbreaking exhibition will run April 22-October 29.
“The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect setting for Dale Chihuly’s art,” said Gregory Long, chief executive officer and the William C. Steere Sr president of NYBG. “Our historic landscape is an open-air museum, providing a thrilling opportunity for our visitors to see the spectacular glass sculptures, especially when they will be lit at night. The exhibition will be a more holistic look at the legacy of Chihuly the artist. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and everyone whose support is making it possible for us to bring this experience to our existing and new audiences.”
“The New York Botanical Garden’s much anticipated ‘Chihuly’ exhibition exemplifies our support of nonprofit arts institutions that deliver both the arts and enrich societies,” said Lisa Carnoy, New York City market president, Bank of America. “It supports our belief that the arts matter by providing inspirational and educational sustenance, anchoring communities, creating jobs, complementing school curricula and generating substantial revenue for local businesses.”
Dale Chihuly, who celebrated his 75th birthday last September, expressed his enthusiasm for the highly anticipated show at the New York Botanical Garden. The dramatic vistas of NYBG through changing seasons will be a showcase for Chihuly’s dynamic works of art with their organic shapes in brilliant colors.
Several new hand-blown glass sculptures, created specifically for NYBG, will complement the garden’s landscape and architecture. The water features of the Native Plant Garden and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool will be the setting for dramatic installations inspired by Chihuly’s early exploration of the contrast between glass and environment, resulting in a physical expression of light. Chihuly will be reimagining his Artpark installation that he first created in the summer of 1975 when he was among nearly 40 artists invited to create temporary outdoor works in Lewiston, N.Y., near Niagara Falls. Using hand-blown sheets of stained glass, the installations were designed to provide contrast between the glass and the surrounding environment, resulting in a physical expression of light.
At The New York Botanical Garden, Chihuly will revisit this concept, creating two new compositions drawing inspiration from the 1975 installation. The transition from day to night will provide a rare opportunity to view the effects of light as it passes through and illuminates these panels.
The exhibition will feature several dramatic neon sculptures. As a graduate student in the late 1960s and then as a professor at Rhode Island School of Design, Chihuly pioneered innovative applications of neon in his early work. This innovation continued into the 80s and 90s, leading to the “Tumbleweed,” a major element in his exhibitions. During Chihuly’s blockbuster show at NYBG in 2006, the first time he presented a major garden exhibition in New York City, he further explored his work in neon with the development of the first “Neon Tower.” Chihuly will revisit these concepts with a new multicolor neon sculpture in the Conservatory Courtyard to take advantage of the location’s reflective qualities.
In an homage to the 2006 exhibition, Chihuly’s “Blue Herons,” originally in the Tropical Pool, will be showcased in a new display within the Haupt Conservatory, itself considered a work of glass art. These graceful forms will be one of many examples of Chihuly sculptures seen within the grand architecture of the landmark Victorian-style glasshouse.
The New York Botanical Garden is at 2900 Southern Boulevard. For more information, www.nybg.org or 718-817-8779.
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