Visual Arts Publications


Dale Chihuly: The Chandeliers and Other Critical Insight into His Work

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008






Contemporary Canadian Glass

First Page


Last Page



Dale Chihuly is the enigmatic celebrity artist heralded as the saviour of the decorative and the rejuvenator of craft. As part of a lengthy stylistic process of investigation, experimentation, and exploration, beginning from the late 1960’s, Chihuly restored the ornamental, decorative, and the embellished in postmodern art. His perpetual reconfiguration and metamorphosis of style continually put to question the validity and sustenance of his work. He counteracts and justifies this with a process of extreme stylistic evolution; taking glass to where it has never been or where it was never perceived to be, as a means of being the first, the best, and the most important artist to ever do so. He is credited as the man who singularly recognized glass as a fine art moving it from the realm of craft to legitimacy and relevance.


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Matthew Ryan Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in Art and Visual Culture at The University of Western Ontario.

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