Sunday, April 25, 2010

Visual pleasures

This weekend BP and I attended an art exhibition that combined two fascinating artists: Chihuly at the Salk, which takes the installation art glass of Dale Chihuly and places it among the iconic buildings designed by Louis Kahn, that house the Salk Institute (a private research facility in San Diego). Kahn's buildings, made of concrete and teak and travertine, are perched over the Pacific and their surfaces provide a light show that varies with the time of day.

I was not familiar with Chihuly's work previously, except in a vague way. The pieces were varied. There were big clamshells in vibrant colors; a rowboat filled with massive, brilliant balls; and a Sun with individual tendrils wired in place. The combination of the stark flat surfaces of the buildings with the rich colors and undulating curves of Chihuly's pieces was most effective. And as you can see, the lighting at night was very striking -- look at the shadows of the sun piece on the flat surfaces to the sides. That strip of yellow down the middle is a narrow water feature that runs through the Salk's courtyard, and reflected the Light of the Sun. ;-) Click on any image for a bigger view.

Visual delights of a different sort presented themselves a day later, when we walked in our local canyon to take in the vivid wild flowers, with purples and yellows scumbled across the uncharacteristically green hillside. Lizards scrambled under our feet and the flowers were alive with bees. Two redtail hawks overhead grasped their talons and the grosbeak sung his heart out to his mate.

The Chihuly exhibition runs for just a week. Spring will run a bit longer. ;-)


Counterlight said...

I love Louis Kahn's buildings, though I've never visited the Salk Institute.

it's margaret said...

I once got to see Chihuly make art --in person, in a glass studio/center outside of Seattle. Talk about a dance!!! He with his chalk and his patched eye, his assistants moving between him and the furnace, the liquid glass and heat and danger, the puchellis and pincers --all the angels and wild beasts running about!!! It was heaven and chaos, all at once!

This installation is wonderful.

Have you ever seen the Chihuly exhibit at the aiport in Palm Springs?

JCF said...

Chihuly rocks!

The Chihuly exhibition runs for just a week. Spring will run a bit longer.

In SoCal? Nah, you're almost done. ;-p

JCF, enjoying the beautiful (late-coming) Spring of Michigan one last time...