by Donald Kuspit, Jack Cowart (Introduction), Dale Chihuly
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours. Hardcover - 368 pages (December 1998)
For more than 30 years, Dale Chihuly's work, principally in glass (but occasionally including such unconventional media as neon and ice), has challenged traditional distinctions between craft and art. Chihuly's oeuvre is notable for its vibrancy of color, the boldness of its shape and execution, and, in recent years, its studied mimicry of natural forms, from cacti to seaweed and jellyfish. The scale of these blown-glass works ranges from pieces suitable for a coffee table to vast hanging chandeliers that drape from ceiling to floor or shoot up like Christmas trees from below. At times, Chihuly's work is merely decorative, a collection of brightly colored, softened glass forms that resemble melted Christmas tree ornaments, sea anemones, squash, wriggling eels, and other organic shapes. The dizzying abundance of work created by Chihuly himself and his students-cum-assistants at his Pilchuk Glass School, and the enormously successful marketing of this art (Pilchuk, located near Seattle, is open to visitors), has lead some viewers to an overfamiliarity with the work. But art critics Donald Kuspit and Jack Cowart argue for its originality and importance in their introductory essays. (Perhaps overly so: Cowart compares the pieces to Matisse, Turner, and Walt Disney's Fantasia, while Kuspit evokes Freud, symbolism, and T.S. Eliot to argue for the works' seriousness of intent.) Even those readers familiar with Chihuly will be impressed with the capacious variety of form and function--candy bowls to chandeliers--captured in over 280 pages of photographs that exhaustively chart the artist's creations, along with the two essays mentioned above and a biographical time-line. For Chihuly fans who may not be able to afford a Chihuly original of their own, this book is the next best thing. --John Longenbaugh
Truly a worthwhile book
Reviewer: A reader from Stamford CT October 27, 1999 Among the thousands of art books on the market, Kuspit's exhaustive look at Dale Chihuly's career in glass is a bargain for the Amazon price. Filled with gorgeous color photos of Chihuly's unique work, and intelligently written, this book will grace any art lover's shelf.
As Alice in Wonderland!
Reviewer: A reader from Safety Harbor Florida June 17, 1999 From the front page to the end this book you will be mesmorized. For those familiar with Maestro Chihuly's work this is a bible, for those that just come to learn about his creations this book is a must have. I feel that Dale Chihuly is one of the most talented artists of this century. His vision and creativity are so outstanding in a world of modern art sometimes too bare and conceptual. The book is an array of picture after picture of Chihuly's work. Splendid details can inspire from a decorator to a fashion designer, every page is a microcosmo of creativity. If I had to travel the universe with just a suitcase full of books, this is absolutly one of them.
Critic Kuspit provides a superb overview of Chihuly's art.
Reviewer: william warmus from Ithaca, New York September 17, 1998 Noted critic Donald Kuspit has written what is perhaps the best essay about the work of Seattle artist Dale Chihuly. Those familiar with the burgeoning studio glass movement may nonetheless wonder about the use of glass as a medium for art; Kuspit forcefully argues that Chihuly has pioneered a new art form that is in many ways an extension of traditional art and in some ways superior to current art styles. Kuspit shows how Chihuly's work gives fresh artistic meaning to traditional aspects of the glassmakers craft such as fragility, transparency, etc. The book is lavishly illustrated with color images of all aspects of the artist's work, including the early pivotal neon and ice sculptures and the recent "Chihuly Over Venice" project, and concludes with a detailed and illustrated chronology.