Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens
By Polina Pittell
Seattle-based artist Dale Chihuly collaborated with the New York Botanical Gardens for the first time in over ten years to bring audiences CHIHULY, a spectacular showcase championing his career. From experimentations with neon to his famed glass blowings, the breadth and depth of the glass sculptor’s mastery is on full display within the garden show’s 20 plus exhibits. Regardless of the rigidity and fragility of Chihuly’s glass, his sculptures’ organic and vibrant forms make the Botanical Gardens a natural setting for his work. Site-specific installments demand conversation with the grounds’ varied landscapes, which build an all-around sensory experience. While works such as Macchia Forest and Glass House Fiori aim to highlight the aesthetic qualities of the surrounding plants, Sol del Citron, Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower challenge the balance of the Conservatory’s architecture, keeping audiences on their toes as to what the artist will do next. The exhibition’s night program, CHIHULY NIGHTS, allows for a different perspective on the show - the dramatic elements of the pieces are emphasized through different modes of lighting as well as a roster of performing artists and musicians. Surrounded by garden landscapes, the exhibit maintains the enjoyable atmosphere of a soiree: guests are welcome to dine, drink and shop as they savor the works. Chihuly’s work in this exhibition is subject to an ever-changing vantage point as the time of day as well as season can shift the garden viewer's experience.
CHIHULY will end its run at the New York Botanical Gardens on October 29th, 2017.