In May and June 2020, Dale Chihuly will return to the gallery for his first solo exhibition since 2013. This major exhibition, titled Chihuly Merletto, unveils a new collection of sculptures and drawings from the artist’s renowned Basket series. Utilizing an ancient Italian lace-like cane patterning technique, these new Merletto Baskets elegantly integrate opaque black and white cane with the artist’s iconic Basket form. We are excited to welcome Chihuly back to Traver Gallery and can’t wait to share this remarkable new collection of work with you.
In 2019, Chihuly began experimenting with the ancient caneworking technique called merletto, which is the Italian word for lace. A labor-intensive and complex process, merletto was developed on the Italian island of Murano in the 15th century and involves the fusing of glass cane to a molten glass bubble through a pick-up technique that embeds a lace-like effect to the vessel form. Chihuly’s approach to merletto departs from the precision of the classic Venetian technique and relays expressive energy to his mesh-like patterns. His first foray into the process integrates opaque black and white cane to his iconic Basket series and references early Basket Drawings which Chihuly created with bundles of pencils to capture the three-dimensional form on paper.
Dale Chihuly’s career as an artist and notoriety among the ranks of the world’s foremost living artists is one of the greatest stories of the Northwest. Chihuly’s spectacular one of kind artworks, blown glass installations, and chandeliers have helped to catapult glass into the realm of Fine Art and have sparked the imaginations of viewers everywhere. His influence on glass art and the community is undeniable; yet it is his enduring passion, energy, and creative spirit are that makes his work unique and truly outstanding.