Sims Reed Gallery’s current exhibition shines a new light internationally renowned American artist Dale Chihuly presenting an inspiring selection of his Fine Art prints and original works on paper.
While celebrated for his exquisite and pioneering glass installations, drawing has always been integral to Chihuly’s artistic practice. They became an increasingly important means of communicating his ideas to his team after losing the sight of his left eye in 1976. These works evolved from charcoal and graphite studies into wilder colourful pieces, that according to the artist remain a crucial part of his creative process, without which the glass works would not have progressed in the way or at the speed with which they have. He describes the exchange of energy between the two as a flow of ideas, commenting that ‘drawing is a fluid process,’ like the blowing of glass.
This exhibition, which is comprised of twenty-nine original prints and ten original works on paper, seeks to reveal the elision of these two disciplines. Some of the prints — a medium the artist has been exploring for almost 30 years — draw on his sculptural series, such as Baskets, Niijima Floats and Venetians, for inspiration, while others are purely imaginative.
“Sometimes the drawings would be about the glass; sometimes they’d just be drawings, a way to release the energy, or a way for my mind and body to be creative while the glassblowing was going on” — Chihuly
The featured prints range from woodcuts, hand-coloured screenprints and lithographs, as well as many embellishments incorporated into the production of each. Also included in the show are ten original works. The earliest of these, Venetian Drawing (1990), captures the immediacy of his astonishing visual invention, with upswept thrusts of black charcoal suggestive of birds or flames, while evoking the exuberant forms achieved in the sculptural series from which its title is derived.
Due to the restrictions resulting from COVID-19, the gallery have offered an incredible 3-D, virtual walk through of this show:
Sims Reed Gallery 43A Duke Street St. James’s London SW1Y 6DD
t: +44 (0) 20 7930 5111
Sims Reed Gallery is temporarily closed to the public in response to the current situation with COVID-19. The gallery team is working behind the scenes and can be contacted by email or telephone.