Artist: Dale Chihuly
Title: Ikebana Drawing
Medium: Acrylic on Arches Paper
Size: 60” x 40”
Inscription: Signed on bottom
Condition: Very good condition overall, please request a condition report for full details
Documentation: Includes gallery Certificate of Authenticity and appraisal report (Appraised value of $37,600 via ISA certified appraiser)
Making a distinction between Chihuly’s glasswork and drawings is impossible - both represent his quintessential expression. Drawing was an important part of Chihuly’s creative life since his student days. He has always drawn, seeing the process as “fluid”, just like glassblowing.
Immersed in action, Chihuly often draws while standing and he uses many different techniques - from the abstract expressionist “dripping” to Asian staining techniques typical for ink paintings. This captivating process usually results in a spectacular piece, brimming with energy and color. The term “drawings” is taken loosely since these works are painted on paper with acrylic or a mix of techniques and it refers to the original artist’s dedication to the line and the use of the basic drawing materials at the beginning of his career.
To this day, drawings have been a vital part of Chihuly’s visual language. They are spontaneous pieces, used as a tool for energy release and progression and development of ideas and themes. He usually draws in his hotshop and allows the process to flow back and forth from glass blowing to drawing, allowing the paint to start acting like molten glass and glass to become a painting tool.
“Ikebana” is one of Dale Chihuly’s most famous culturally-inspired bodies of work. Developed from the Venetian series, it refers to the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement. Main characteristics of the Ikebana pieces are the Venetian vase-like vessel with two or three (sometimes more) long glass stems coming out of it, waving and curling into space. Imagined as a garden series, Ikebana represents a harmony of art and nature as seen by Chihuly.
As an integral part of the cycle, Ikebana drawings represent energetic portrayals of the concept. The displayed “Ikebana Drawing” from 1998 follows the same idea, as spontaneous, vigorous gestures of splashing paint describe a vessel and protruding stems. Thick impasto of the main drawing lies on a spotted background reminiscent of Chinese ink painting. Natural hues sustain the inspirational roots, while the piece possesses the bright quality of a vision as an epitome of Ikebana on paper.
Signed with large lettering in a characteristic gestural manner, “Ikebana Drawing” from 1998 is a mature piece, whereas its spontaneous composition contains decades of drawing experience.
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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. Glasswork 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 degrees 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 glasswork on a much broader scale, while still maintaining his recognizable style.