Dale Chihuly’s Persian series originated in 1986 as a search for new forms. Early works in the series were oddly shaped and intensely colored. Former curator Tina Oldknow notes, “The earliest Persians looked “archaeological” to Chihuly, like excavated ancient treasures. Chihuly sensed that these objects represented a formal direction in his art that was experimental, new, and exotic.” The more Chihuly continued to work within the series, the more the forms began to transform and inform themselves. The hallmark energy and motion of the sweeping arcs and arabesques of the Persians are evidence of the artist’s predilection for glass as a vehicle for color and the transmission of light.
Byzantine Blue Persian, a 2017 Studio Edition, is the first Chihuly Workshop Persian edition composed of three individual elements. The largest one, sheer pearly-blue at its center, fans and opens out to a deeper blue rim conveying its swaying spines and graceful movement. Within it rests a dazzlingly red-striped form that provides an inviting and contrasting dimension. The composition’s final element, a rich blue, expressive, and gently coiled serpentine form, reiterates the poetic suppleness of the sculpture in its entirety.
The hand blown Byzantine Blue Persian is signed by Chihuly and measures approximately 10 inches across. The sculpture is accompanied by a custom designed Plexiglas vitrine with a black base and the 104-page publication Chihuly Persians which provides an intriguing study of this captivating series.
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