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Paris Blue Basket Set, 2001 by Dale Chihuly

Paris Blue Basket Set, 2001 by Dale Chihuly
Paris Blue Basket Set, 2001 by Dale Chihuly

Paris Blue Basket Set, 2001; Hand-blown glass composed of seven elements; Incised signature and date to one element 'Chihuly 01'; Size: 12 x 13 1/4 x 12 1/2".

"My work, to this day revolves around a simple set of circumstances: fire, molten glass, human breath, spontaneity, centrifugal force, gravity." - Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly was born on September 20, 1941 and is an American glass sculptor. His works are considered to be exceptional in the field of blown glass; and he has adapted the technical difficulties of the medium to explore and implement installations, as well as environment specific artwork.

Chihuly first began experimenting with glass blowing in 1965 and began an extensive education centered around sculpture. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1968; and that same year was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant for his work in glass, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. He traveled to Venice to work at the Venini factory on the island of Murano, where he first saw the team approach to glass blowing. In 1976, while in England, he was involved in a head-on-car crash which propelled him through the windshield. His face was severely cut by glass and he was permanently blinded in his left eye. After recovering, he continued to blow glass until he dislocated his right shoulder in 1979 while body surfing.

No longer able to hold a glassblowing pipe, he was able to utilize the team approach to glass blowing he had seen in Murano, and hired other artists to do the physical work. Chihuly explained the change saying, "Once I stepped back, I liked the view." He felt liberated and more free to see the work from multiple perspectives, and the change enabled him to anticipate problems earlier and to react. His role in the studio changed from participate, to supervisor and problem solver. One of the most critically acclaimed series by Chihuly was the Macchia series. Macchia, which is Italian for spot, was begun in 1981 and continues today.

"Baskets was the breakthrough series for me as an artist." - Dale Chihuly

In 1977, Chihuly found inspiration in the woven American Indian baskets of the Washington State Historical Society in Tocoma, Washington. Chihuly stated, "I saw some beautiful Northwest Coast Indian baskets at the Washington State Historical Society, and was struck by the grace of their slumped, sagging forms. I wanted to capture this grace in glass." Chihuly had been a student of weaving and he was interesting in translating the art form into glass. He began his glassblowing by exploring a more organic and less symmetrical approach and his Basket series has evolved to include small subdued sculptures to large dramatic pieces that deal with color and transparency in unique ways. Some of the Basket pieces would reach six feet in length and containing as many as 20 smaller elements, and he worked the glass to be very thin in certain areas to create as transparency allowing the viewer to see through the outer vessel and visually explore the interior that contains other organic glass forms. Chihuly and his team of artists have been the subjects of several documentaries, extensive printed articles, monographs, and collections.

"Paris Blue Basket Set," 2001 by Dale Chihuly is an exceptional example of Dale Chihuly at his best. This large set is composed of seven brilliant blue pieces each with a black lip. The large basket starts as a dark blue color near the top and then quickly fades to a thiner transparent clear glass, to allow the viewer to see the other art objects inside the basket. An absolutely stunning, large, and complex piece of modern glass by the most important glass artist of his time, and a standout of any art collection!


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