American, born 1941
Persian Pergola, detail, about 1994
Blown glass and plate glassThe glass artist Dale Chihuly developed his Persian series in the mid-1980s as "a search for forms." These experimental pieces, where the flattened-out, multi-colored Persian disks grip walls and windows like flowers on a vine, eventually grew to be one of Chihuly's most celebrated forms, and are a focal point of his museum installations. In the Persian Pergola, Chihuly has again challenged the viewer's perception of the glass medium and its limitations by strewing a collection of smaller Persian forms across a plate glass ceiling supported by a steel beam structure. The visitor's impression is similar to being on the wrong side of a glass-bottom boat: looking upward, one experiences Chihuly's sea creature-like forms floating above them. This otherworldly effect is typical of Chihuly's installations, which push the limits of the glass medium in all directions, including color, size, and display, to form sculptural organic environments.The Persian Pergola is featured in the exhibition "Dale Chihuly: Installations 1964-1997," on view in the Dayton Hudson Gallery.