Saturday, November 5, 2016

Glass Half Full


Lots of visitors to Seattle go Chihuly Garden and Glass, full of the work of renowned glassmaker Dale Chihuly. I've heard of people leaving in awe of the blazing colors and almost magical technique.

Not everyone views it that way. Chihuly once came up in a conversation with an artist I know. I asked his opinion of this body of work. His blunt answer: too easy

I get that. It is awfully accessible, isn't it? Bright, pretty colors and cool shapes. Despite the enormous skill and craftsmanship that goes into its production, it is not in the least difficult. There is a lot to be said for art that takes some work to grasp, leading to something deeper. I remember when I first heard The Rite of Spring 45 or 50 years ago. I was baffled. Now I think it is among the glories of modern Western art.

So maybe Chihuly is too easy. Maybe there is great value in its obvious beauty. Make up your own mind. There are many more examples in my Flickr feed (link in right sidebar) and several more I want to edit. Probably more of this tomorrow.

We have a free day today in Seattle. It's supposed to rain more-or-less nonstop. There must be more things to do indoors in this wet city. Reports to follow.   






10 comments:

Gunn said...

FANTASTIC!

s.c said...

Its still very nice to photograph.

Cloudia said...

SO glad I looked in! Happy to meet you

William Kendall said...

His works are very colourful. I think that's the thing with modern art- some of it will appeal to a person, while others will be quite off putting.

Sharon Anck said...

I am full on, totally jealous now! I really want to see this place. Maybe I'll make it next spring. These photos are gorgeous. I'm probably one of those people who thinks it's the whole body of work and the way it's put together that makes it incredible art.

bill burke said...

Beautiful and colourful!

RedPat said...

I think there is a lot of skill involved in some of his works but I still have problems reconciling the fact that he doesn't do the blowing. But then architects don't build there buildings either. I'm still trying to work that out. And he used to be able to blow glass like that so maybe that counts. It's a quandary. Most of them are incredibly beautiful works!

Jack said...

Jeez, Bob, you are equivocal because it is "too easy"? [I know I am supposed to put the quotation mark inside the quotation marks, but it always looks wrong.] What the heck do you think about Jeff Koons' balloon figures?

Jack said...

Jeez, the first "quotation" is supposed to be "question." I must be tired.

Kate said...

We visited the same museum mid-October and I posted photos and my reaction, too. The forms may be repetitive in some pieces but the colours and simple forms as well as Chihuly's understanding of the appeal of his work is nothing short of genius. Art for me is successful when it appeals to a wide range of audiences. I am always mystified, and occasionally amused, at the definition of what makes genuinely "good art."