Chihuly @ Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Most exhibits that take place at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts are of the visual variety.  In the case of Chihuly this is especially true.  When you walk through the small but stimulating exhibit at the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion of the MMFA your eyes will not know where to look first due to the exquisite stimulation.

Dale Chihuly is the name of the artist and creating beautiful, colourful pieces out of blown glass is his game. The exhibit is divided into eight rooms with four of them being created exclusively for the MMFA.  Your introduction to his work begins outside the museum.  On the steps to the pavilion there is the immense The Sun.  The piece which is four metres in diameter has coils that extend from the centre forming a shape like a sun, hence the name.  Chihuly has used two shades of yellow as well as some red and blue.

Your introduction to the artist’s work continues before you even enter the rooms.  At the top of the staircase there is a piece called Persian Colonnade. Each piece looks like a colourful giant flower.  Chihuly himself says that he created his Persians in an effort to create a new shape.

Shape and colour really seems a preoccupation with this man.  He plays with all kinds of shapes from seashells to flowers to spiky reeds.  Colour is something he does not seem picky about.  What I mean to say is that he shows no favourites other than tending to stick to bright colours.  All that he uses are very stimulating to the eyes.

The Macchia Forest is a perfect example of this.  Each of the pieces is like a large seashell and all are of a bright colour from red to yellow to blue to green.  Started in the early 80s and created in conjunction with the German manufacturer Kugler.  Placed on metal pedestals the effect of the colour is amplified by the fact that they are lit.  They all seem to absolutely glow.

What seemed to be most visitors favourite room is that called Persian Ceiling.  Lots of people on the evening I was there were lying on the floor to look up at the piece in order to take it all in.  The ceiling is made up of a variety of different shaped, sized and coloured pieces that seem to be layered upon one another.  Due to this there is almost a kaleidoscope effect when looking at it.  Chihuly was aiming to recreate the look and visual effect of a Persian rug with this piece.

Turquoise Reeds is a room in which Chihuly seems to be attempting to create a forest-like atmosphere.  The turquoise reed shaped pieces of glass have been stuck into trunks of red cedar standing erect.  This room is most similar to Glass Forest #6.  Created in 1971 using blue-white glass and neon/argon gas that throws an almost eerie light from the piece causing you to when you walk through the room do it in an almost solemn silence.  The piece creates that kind of atmosphere.

Flowers were abundant in the gardens of Chihuly’s mother and they seem to have left an impression upon him.  Mille Fiori really shows his preoccupation with flowers and gardens. With different shapes and colours he has used his glass to create an almost ethereal garden.  With all the difference it really begs you to look at the different pieces from many different angles.

The inside of a cave covered in stalagmites and stalactites is what Chandeliers and Towers will bring to mind once you walk into that room.  Dominating the room is the huge Ruby Pineapple that hangs much like a chandelier.

Finally there is The Boats.  A series of what look very much like giant marbles inside a row boat. It almost looks like the boat is floating on top of a crystal lake in which several large multi-coloured marbles are floating alongside.

The exhibit has been extended to the end of October (27th), so there is still time to see Chihuly’s breathtaking work.

Additional Information:

-Dates:  June 8 – October 27, 2013

-Venue:  Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

-Ticket Purchase: Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion (1380 Sherbrooke Street West)

-Entrance Fees:

AT ALL TIMES

WEDNESDAY 
EVENING

Ages 31 and over

$20

$10

Ages 13 to 30

$12

$10

Ages 12 and under

FREE

FREE

Groups*
Ages 31 and over

$16/PERS

$10/PERS

Groups*
Ages 13 to 30

$10/PERS

$10/PERS

Groups Ages 12 and under

$2/PERS

$2/PERS

Tour Operator

$16/PERS

$10/PERS

Museum VIPs

Free admission to all exhibitions

-Hours:

Monday 

Closed 

Tuesday 

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Wednesday * 

10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*