Few modern artists have achieved such appreciation for their work as Dale Chihuly. His recognition on a global scale has reached a level more reminiscent of the masters from centuries past. His popularity is bolstered by the striking masterpieces that capture the imagination in highly traveled destinations around the world. One doesn’t have to be an art aficionado to be drawn to the colorful, free-form blown glass sculptures that appear to come to life with the changing light filtered through the deep rich colors of the exquisitely blown glass structures.
Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1968, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. It was there where he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today.
After cofounding the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art. Today, his work is recognized world-wide – being showcased in more than 240 museum collections. He has created more than a dozen well-known series of works. From his Cylinders and Baskets in the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Venetians, and Persians in the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers in the 1990s; to his Fiori in the 2000s. Chihuly is also celebrated for large architectural installations at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Atlantis in the Bahamas and throughout Europe.
At the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Chihuly’s artwork is on display in Bar RoJo, located within the main lobby, directly above Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The dramatic suspended chandelier artwork is reminiscent of Chihuly’s Seaform creations creating a contemporary atmosphere for this popular locale. Residents of Alteza, the private condominiums located 25 floors above the Grand Hyatt, have the enviable opportunity to enjoy this world-class art exhibition on a daily basis.
In 1995, he began Chihuly Over Venice, for which he created sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice. In 1999, Chihuly started an ambitious exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London presented the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A.
Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London. Other major exhibition venues now include the de Young Museum in San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.