Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941)
Macchia Seaform Group (consists of 11 pieces), 1984
Blown glass 4 7/8 in. (12.38 cm)
Crocker Art Museum, gift of Albert O. Bumgardner1985.12.a
Through his work and his approach, Dale Chihuly transformed the American studio glass movement. He expanded his craft from an individual pursuit into a full-scale workshop of skilled artists collaborating in an intricately coordinated program. The team races against the elements of heat and gravity to transform molten glass into works unprecedented in scale, color, and complexity of design. Working as Chihuly does draws upon European traditions practiced for centuries in glass centers such as Venice.
Chihuly explored the Macchia (Italian for spotted) series throughout the 1980s. Typical of this concept were the evocation of tropical sea life and the nestling of forms. Light pours through this grouping to reveal pastel color, while wavering line furthers the allusion to organic growth and regeneration. Rapid production is fundamental to the spontaneity of form that distinguishes Chihuly’s vast output. Over time, he has taken technical achievement to new heights and studio glass into the realm of sculptural environments.