Artist: Dale Chihuly
Title: Green Navajo Blanket Cylinder
Medium: Hand Blown Glass
Size: 15 1/2" x 7" x 7"
Inscription: Signed and dated
Documentation: Includes Gallery Certificate of Authenticity
This historically significant Dale Chihuly Green Navajo Blanket Cylinder is one of the largest cylinders ever constructed by the artist. The Navajo blanket series was foundational for Chihuly, and it displays his fortitude for inventing new techniques as well as his creative eye for drawing on a wide range of artistic influences.
It’s not a widely known fact that Dale Chihuly, the most famous glass artist in the world today, began his artistic career as a weaver. A passionate collector of “Indian trade blankets” produced by Pendleton Mill, the artist dedicated his first series in glass to the Navajo textiles. First developed in 1975, this series of Cylinders represented the unification of Chihuly’s love for textiles and his fascination with glassblowing. Chihuly devised a decorative technique in which he picked up patterns of colored glass threads, inspired by vintage Navajo and Pendleton trade blankets, onto the surface of a cylindrical glass vessel.
Dale Chihuly began creating larger pieces in the later part of his career, thanks primarily to the increasing size of his glass-blowing team. This 15 1/2" example from 1984 was created far earlier than most pieces of comparable size. It's also notable that most of the Navajo blanket series features a muted pallet of earth tones that were a direct inspiration from the source material and an artistic undercurrent of Chihuly's early era glassworks. In his modern era, the artist would become defined by his use of bold, saturated colors. This 1984 example is rendered in a vibrant, kelly green that foreshadows what would come from Chihuly in the future.
Dale Chihuly's original handblown glass Green Navajo Blanket Cylinder is signed and dated by the artist and includes a Certificate of Authenticity from Modern Artifact.
About Dale Chihuly
One of the most famous contemporary glass artists in the world, Dale Chihuly is best known for his monumental sculptures and installations. He is the name behind the spectacular ceiling at the Bellagio’s flower garden in Las Vegas and the creator of the Rotunda Chandelier at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Glass works of Dale Chihuly are considered some of the most desired collectibles between the decorative arts devotees today.
Despite his initial indifference towards education, Chihuly has spent a lot of time in school, obtaining both scientific and artistic degree in sculpture from prestigious graduate schools. He displayed a proclivity for interior design and craft early on, but his true passion was always in the glass. He was a Fulbright Fellow in the late 1960s and an apprentice at the Venini Glass Factory in Venice. Mastering the art of Murano glasswork, he continued the experiments with glassblowing and thus became one of the people who brought the ancient art of glassblowing back into the spotlight on an international scale.
Monumental and small-scale artwork of Dale Chihuly is present in over 200 most renowned decorative art collections today, while the artist holds twelve honorary doctorates!
The most illustrious series in his work are Cylinders and Baskets he created in the 1970s; Macchia, Venetians, and Persians from the 1980s, Niijima Floats and Chandeliers created in the 1990s; and a more recent one, Fiori from the 2000s.
For over 30 years, Dale Chihuly has been acting as an artistic director of his team of craftsmen, since he was incapacitated in two accidents, which left him blind in one eye and incapable of holding the blowing tube. This change allowed him to see the possibilities of glass work on a broader scale, while still maintaining his recognizable style.