Chihuly’s Artistry Lights Up The Baker Museum
American multi-media artist Dale Chihuly has long been associated with Artis—Naples and The Baker Museum, including an exhibition of his works that was featured when the museum opened in November 2000, with Chihuly himself attending the inaugural festivities.
Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now, the third Chihuly exhibition in the history of The Baker Museum, includes stunning artworks presented in the museum and around Artis—Naples’ Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus and is on view through February 28.
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“We are so excited to have Dale Chihuly anchor the 20th anniversary season of The Baker Museum, since he helped inaugurate the museum when it opened,” said Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President of Artis—Naples. “Since then, The Baker Museum has become one of the bright lights on the visual arts landscape in Southwest Florida, and we are delighted to highlight our 20-yearrelationship with Dale.”
Chihuly is known for pushing the boundaries of glass and revolutionizing the American studio glass movement. For Dreaming Forms, Chihuly presents stunning installations drawn both from recent works and from his earlier signature series.
Among the featured series, indoors and outdoors, are Baskets, Venetians, Ikebana, Fiori, Rotolo, Glass on Glass and Red Reeds.
In addition, a dynamic, large-scale assemblage, Gilded Fiori Boat, premiers at The Baker Museum, occupying a gallery on its own. The work exemplifies ongoing exploration of site-specific installations and interest in transforming and expanding the capabilities of glass, which can be further seen in Red Reeds. Consisting of a multitude of tall, reed-like forms, the installation is presented in the reflecting pools in the Norris Garden on the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus.
Starting in 1977, Chihuly began creating his iconic Basket series, which consists of large, wide-mouthed and asymmetrical vessels, within which several small pieces nest. He has made a never-evolving array of this undulating vessel form since then, including Fire Orange Baskets and Chihuly Merletto Baskets, an iteration developed in 2019 which embeds lace-like patterns into the work and illustrates his continuous experimentation with technique, form, pattern and color.
This exhibition marks the first time that Chihuly Merletto Baskets are on view in a museum setting. Inspired by Venetian Art Decovases, in 1988 Chihuly launched the Venetian series — boldly colored and intricate, vase-shaped works.
Also on view are the Ikebana, which the artist initiated in 1989 as an offshoot of the Venetians, inspired by the art of Japanese flower arrangement.
Further demonstrating Chihuly’s penchant for organic, free flowing forms, Dreaming Forms also includes an immersive Mille Fiori installation. Chihuly’s Rotolo, which the artist began in 2013 are also on view. These delicate yet heavy works sprang from his earlier Venetian series and are among the most challenging to make.
Three other stunning exhibitions are currently on view at The Baker Museum, including Rodin: Truth Form Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections; Subject Matters: Selections from the Permanent Collection and Magritte: Reflections of Another World/Paintings from the Van Parys Family.
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