Lest you think I had no fun this summer: In July my family (husband Jim and our two sons, Evan and Ethan and I), went to see the spectacular exhibit of glass art by Dale Chihuly at the de Young Museum in San Francsco. I have long admired Chihuly's art, and this show was everything I had hoped it would be and more. The hand blown and individually shaped pieces of glass are brilliantly colored in solid, striped or mottled colors, and in such flowing shapes that they often look like living plant or animal forms. Indeed Chihuly plays with this life-form concept often, referring to images such as a primeval forest, an undersea kelp garden, or flowers one might find in a garden on the moon. At other times, he plays these flowing shapes against purely geometrical shapes such as spheres. The result is a sense of awe and wonder, moving from room to room like Alice moving through a looking-glass world.
The sheer scale of the pieces often stuns the viewer into little gasps of surprise. The giant marbles in one life-size boat, next to another boat brimming with a wild chaotic jumble of spires, spirals and ribbons of luminous glass, were hypnotizing.
Looking at these photos you might not guess that the "marbles" are several feet in diameter. Part of the fun of the exhibit was the way the glass was displayed, allowing it to be viewed from above, below, and alongside as the viewer passes by-- even through a room where the glass objects were viewed through a glass cieling. We also got to see several of the amazing hanging chandeliers that Chihuly is famous for, in saturated colors of red, yellow, blue and green.
There was also a tower of glass on display outside the exhibit, that can be viewed at night, lit up with spotlights. Our visit was during the day, so we missed the lighted tower. However we did drive a few short miles to the neighboring museum of the Legion of Honor, where a huge Chihuly work was on display in the courtyard: an image of the Sun, made of radiating spirals of yellow glass. We were there on a cloudy day, so the glass did not have the added benefit of sunlight for our viewing. Nevertheless it was impressive. I took a photograph with Jim, Evan and Ethan in front of it so as to get a sense of the scale of this work.
These are only a few of the pictures I took, and hopefully I can upload more for you to see soon. Although no flash photography was allowed, the art was so beautifully lit and displayed, it was hard to take a bad picture. The exhibit runs until September 28, 2008, so you still have a chance to catch it if you are in the area.
Next up: another fun family day trip together. Until then, I leave you with this heartwarming image of The Young Men, Ethan (left) and Evan, positively glassy eyed from all the art they saw that day.