Monday, October 9, 2017

The Hawthornes Are At The Chihuly Exhibit! Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Hawthornes made a quick stop in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Rosie found out that Dale Chihuly,
an extraordinary artist who works in glass, had an outdoor exhibit - "Chihuly in the Forest" -

The museum officially opened November 2011.  It was founded by Alice Walton.
(Daughter of Sam Walton. Yes.  That Walton family.)
Crystal Bridges was Ms. Walton's gift to the town of Bentonville, where WalMart first began as Walton's Five-and-Dime in the 1940s.

Here's the parking lot at the museum.
Can you say, "Freakin' self-entitled prick?"
Asshole took up 3 parking spaces.

This is a huge stainless steel sculpture of a tree, by artist, Roxy Paine.

Arachnophobes beware.
Upon entering the museum, the first thing you see is this huge spider, made of bronze, stainless steel, and marble, by artist Louise Bourgeois.  Entitled, "Maman" (Mommy), the sculpture is an ode to the artist's mother.  "She was my best friend.  Like spiders, my mother was very clever....  Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes.  [I do not know if Bourgeouis' mother ate mosquitoes or not.]  We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted.  So spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother."

I think bourgeois has Mommie issues.

Well, Rosie is here to see Dale Chihuly's exhibit in the Ozark woods.
I've been fortunate to see Chihuly's work once before, at Cheekwood in Nashville, TN.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get to his future exhibit, May - October 2018, at Biltmore in Asheville, NC.

"Chihuly pioneered irregular, asymmetrical forms by allowing the molten glass to bend, fold, and move according to its own rhythm and gravity. He experimented with size, weight, and thinness to create new shapes. And he expanded the size and scale of art glass, with sculptural and architectural installations. During a long career, his stunning creations–vessels, orbs, and chandeliers–have become familiar to art lovers and glass enthusiasts alike. From the first small glass bubble he blew as an art student in 1965, Chihuly has marveled at the mysteries of glass.

'To this day I have not gotten over the excitement of molten glass,” said artist Dale Chihuly. “The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying. I’m still amazed to see the first breath of air enter the hot gather of glass at the end of a blowpipe.' 

Chihuly’s art is inspired by the natural world and international experiences, as evident in this outdoor exhibition which features bold and larger-than-life installations ... created especially for the exhibition at Crystal Bridges, featuring a never-before-seen palette of colors. Chihuly chose subtle, yet brilliant golds and clear glass forms, connecting back to Venetian glass traditions, to capture and reflect the natural light of the Ozark forest.

The first Chihuly work we encountered in the forest was this neon sculpture - Boathouse 7 Neon.  Chihuly first began working with neon in the late 1960s and this particular work is his first exploration of multiple colors in one neon installation.

According to the  brochure:
"Chihuly has explored the imaginative possibilities of neon since his student days in the late 1960s.  Here, as part of his 'Tumbleweeds' series,' large bundles of linear, factory-made tubes were heated and bent to curvilinear shapes.  These neon clusters resemble plant forms or possibly diagrams of atoms."

Turquoise Reeds and Ozark Fiori
"To create Chihuly's 'Reeds,' a glassblower is elevated in a lift and blows into a pipe, while another pulls the glass toward the ground to make these long, tubular forms.  The 'Reeds' are extremely strong, enabling them to withstand many different environments and weather conditions.  Here, Chihuly combines the 'Reeds' with other forms developed in Finland."

Neodymium Reeds on Logs
"Made in Finland, these 'Neobymium Reeds' hold a secret:  they are made with a special rare-earth metallic color not available in the United States.  This color is unique in that it appears to change throughout the day from a slate blue to a vibrant lavender, depending on the light.  The logs used in this installation come from naturally felled trees gathered from Crystal Bridges' forest.

FYI, neodymium is a rare-earth chemical element, symbol Nd, atomic number 60.  It's a soft, lustrous, silvery-yellow metal that is very reactive and tarnishes in air.  As for applications, it can be found in fluorescent lamps, color televisions, energy-saving lamps and glasses, strong permanent magnets, used in computer data storage and in loudspeakers, and in coloring glasses particularly to protect the eyes of welders.


Sole d'Oro
"Chihuly's Sole d'Oro, or "Golden Sun," contains around 1400 hand-blown pieces of glass and weighs more than 5000 pounds.  'What makes The Sun work for me is the massing of color,' said Chihuly.  'If you take hundreds or thousands of blown pieces of a color, put them together and then shoot light through them, it's going to be something to look at.'  For our installation, Chihuly chose a subtle, yet brilliant palette of gold, amber, and clear glass forms, connecting back to Venetian glass traditions, to capture and reflect the natural light of the Ozark forest."

"Chihuly often names his glass parts after words he uses with his glassblowers, as they attempt to describe the shapes they have created through experimentation.  During a whirlwind blow in Finland in 1995, many new shapes were developed.  Someone on the team - maybe Dale himself- thought this sleek form had the curves of a beluga whale.  The name 'Belugas' stuck, and the form has been one of Chihuly's favorites since.

Squero Di San Trovaso Chandelier
June 1995, Dale Chihuly traveled to Finland with his team of glassblowers to work at the famed littala factory in the village of Nuutajarvi with the master blowers and artisans from the area.  The combined team of Americans and Finns made hundreds of individual glass forms and installed them in the landscape.

Fiori Boat
Looking like horns of plenty, Chihuly's old wooden rowboats are filled with various glass forms.  The idea for 'Boats' arose in 1995 in Finland, where he floated pieces of glass downstream in a river.  Local teenagers retrieved them in rowboats.  This inspired Chihuly to make boat installations, here including glass from his 'Fiori' (flowers) series.

Red Reeds
First created in Nuutajarvi, Finland, in 1995, Chihuly's 'Reeds' feature prominently in many of his exhibitions, both indoor and outdoor.  The unique capabilities of the glassblowing facility in Nuutajarvi allowed the team to create forms with special colors and lengths of up to 10 feet.  Chihuly and his team returned to Finland in subsequent years to expand on the 'Reeds' and develop other experimental forms.  The first 'Reeds' blown in Finland were red in color, such as the ones featured in this installation.

It's amazing what fire and lungpower can do.

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