Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chihuly at Fairchild

Glass has been a highly prized medium in art ever since the ancient Egyptians.  For
centuries during the Middle Ages, the millions of square yards of stained glass windows
were recognized as some of the greatest artworks of the day.  In the early 20th century,
Louis Comfort Tiffany made glass art one of the most prominent art mediums for
windows and many other purposes.  In the late 20th century, Dale Chihuly has revived
glass as one of the most versatile and beautiful art media.  For the next six months, there will
be an exhibit of 28 of Mr. Chihuly's large installations sited in the Fairchild Tropical
Botanic Garden in Miami.  I visited it yesterday.
The piece above is entitled "El Sol Citron" and consists of several thousand individually
blown pieces of glass arranged and supported on a steel armature.  It blazes like the sun.

"Cobalt Blue Herons" and "Cobalt Blue Balls" are in a fountain.

"Cobalt Blue Herons."  These are some of my favorites.

"Walla Wallas" in the lake.  They are a kind of float.

Close-up of some "Walla Wallas."

A little peninsula with "Paintbrush Tower" on it.

"Paintbrush Tower"

The magnificent "Blue Fiori."

"Red and Yellow Icicle Tower"

Detail of "Red and Yellow Icicle Tower"

"Lavender and White Herons" in the forest.

"Lilac Reeds" in the Madagascar display.

Splendid and Regal "Amethyst Icicle Tower"

"Red Reeds" in the forest

"Red Reeds" in the forest

"Float Boat" with a number of floats reminiscent of fishermen's floats for nets.

"Mille Fiori Boat"    Even the ibises like it.

"Citron Tower" made of polyvitro, a new plastic developed by Mr. Chihuly working with
chemists.  It is lighter than glass and allows him to explore new forms.

"Citron Tower" seen from opposite side with sun shining through, not on  it.

"Palazzo Ducale Tower"

"Palazzo Ducale Tower" close-up

Orchids growing alongside the "Palazzo Ducale Tower."

When the American Orchid Society, which used to be located in Boca Raton, went
bankrupt a few years ago, Fairchild Garden took all of the orchids and instead of putting
them in another greenhouse, they planted them all outdoors.  So now, wherever you walk,
you find wonderful orchide surprises growing on the ground and on the trees.

In the Gallery are a number of individual pieces by Chihuly for sale.

"Pearl White Nested Bowls"

The largest of the installations is "Blue Mille Fiori", stretching from the Palm Glade
all the way down to the lake.  The "Sapphire Star" stands at the head,
and many more pieces stretch along either side.

"The Sapphire Star"

Various parts of "Blue Mille Fiori"

Reeds, Floats, and Fiori

"Copper Herons" in the forest

"Green and White Herons" in the woods

"Red and Yellow Assymmetrical Tower #1"

"Red and Yellow Asymmetrical Tower #2"

"Najima Floats"  like Japanese fishermen's

"Najima Floats"

Orchids growing on a tree

"Blue Neon Tumbleweed"

"Gold and Clear Chandelier" in the restaurant

Gold and Clear Chandelier detail
Each of these is a separate piece of hand-blown glass.
They are all supported by a complex iron armature inside;
each piece is placed on a rod, like hats on a hatrack.

"Striped Reeds" in the forest

"Fiery Orange Baskets Bowls"

A Blue Morpho Butterfly in the new Butterfly House beside the restaurant.

"Queen's Wreath Vine" from Peru

"Queen's Wreath Vine" coseup.  It comes in both blue and lavender

"End of the Day Tower" in the greenhouse

"End of the Day Tower" closeup

Polyvitro Tower, in two sections.
Made of synthetic polyvitro material

Base section of Polyvtro Tower.

"Black and Green Spiny Reeds" in Madagascar Exhibit

"Green Frog's Foot Forms" in the Tropical Forest

Pale Blue Seaform Bowl with Yellow Lip

I hope you have enjoyed the virtual walk through Fairchild Gardens.
And I hope you have the opportunity to visit it for yourself soon.


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