Gesture As Image

Nathan Kernan
Gesture as Image

The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, to be surprised out of our propriety, to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why; in short, to draw a new circle.

Ralph Waldo Emerson [1]

 

One important reason for making drawings, I imagine, is not to draw a likeness of what one sees, but to find out what it is one sees.

James Schuyler [2]

 

For Dale Chihuly, drawing is a process of discovery, and as such it is an extension of his sculptural work in glass. In a conceptual sense, we can almost say that his drawing activity is sculpture, both being aspects of a single, ongoing process. Chihuly's drawings, like his glass sculptures, are most concerned with the process of their own creation, and it is this that links the two in his own mind when he says, "Drawing is a fluid process, as glassblowing is a fluid process."[3] In circular fashion, discoveries made through the process of drawing are incorporated into sculpture, and vice versa. Chihuly has stated that he usually does not know what he will do before he starts a drawing-or for that matter, when he starts a piece of glass. Like Emerson, he seeks to forget or ignore conscious intentions, so that the image will grow organically from the process of drawing itself, just as three-dimensional forms arise spontaneously out of the physical qualities of molten glass, though both image and three-dimensional form, once they have manifested themselves, can then nurture the continuation of the process.

In Chihuly's 1971–72 installation pieces (executed in collaboration with James Carpenter) 20,000 Pounds of Ice and Neon, Glass Forest #1, Glass Forest #2, and Dry Ice, Bent Glass and Neon, the use of scattered, incremental sculptural elements, along with natural processes such as the steam of the dry ice, the force of gravity to form the glass "trees" of the "forest," and so on, aligns his work with that of postminimalist sculptors, including Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Lynda Benglis, Alan Saret, and others. At the same time, of course, Chihuly was pushing the limits of the craft of glassmaking to create the smaller individual pieces and sets for which he has become so well known, simultaneously redefining the relationship between fine art and craft traditions. In doing so, he may or may not have had at the back of his mind the precedent of ceramist Peter Voulkos, in a previous (abstract expressionist) generation, but a closer parallel would have been in the resurgence of craft concerns and interest in the decorative of the mid–1970s, a time when the painter Louise Fishman, for example, was "weaving" paintings with strips of painted canvas, and Robert S. Zakanitch had forsaken his strictly minimalist gradations of color rectangles to paint canvases of blatantly decorative and gestural floral patterns.

Chihuly's glass objects, however ingratiatingly decorative they might have been considered at times, have never been primarily or obviously that, nor have they ever strayed very far from their postminimalist roots or conceptual underpinnings. His objects have always flirted with ugly, outrageous, or ungainly effects. The Macchia series, for example, embedded with garish colored spots that are small chips of color picked up by the molten glass from the marvering table, takes its name from the Italian for "spot" or "impurity"—the word survives in English only as that which isn't present when something is "immaculate." The intrinsic beauty of glass, and its powerful connotations of purity, called for a radical tempering. As much as Lynda Benglis's poured mounds of latex, Chihuly's glass pieces are about the evidence of a specific physical action on a specific material, a fluid material that hardens from "act" into "fact," from free-flowing, "un-pin-down-able" thought, as it were, into solid object.

PATTERNS OF THOUGHT

Drawing has been important to Chihuly since his days as a design student, when he was trained to make meticulous pencil-and-wash renderings. As he recalls, "I always drew."[4] When his focus shifted to glassblowing in about 1966, he at first ceased to draw much, the glassblowing process, as Chihuly practices it, being a fluid, spontaneous one, a process of discovery in the moment of doing, not lending itself to the following of meticulous working drawings. That changed after 1976, when he lost the sight in his left eye due to an automobile accident, and eventually had to delegate most of the actual glassblowing on his projects to others. Certain drawings, most notably the Venetian drawings of 1988–89, are very specifically intended to communicate or clarify Chihuly's intentions to the glassblower. Most drawings, however, though they depict forms that are certainly related to his glass works, are not studies for them, but independent expressions of some of the same formal and conceptual concerns. As important as drawing was and is as a means of communicating visual ideas to others, it is more important still as a way of communicating with himself, an extension in the physical world of his own cognitive process. "The drawings really help me think about things," he has said.[5]

For Chihuly, drawing has become very much a part of the glassblowing process. He often draws in the hotshop, a process that joins his drawing activity to the communal activity of the blow in progress. The energy from making drawings, as much as the specific images, flows into the glassmaking process and, in equal measure, flows from it back to the drawings—a circular process. As he says, "I want to emphasize how important the drawings came to be in determining what I wanted to make. I have the luxury of not having to blow glass, so while the team is working, I can walk over to the drawing board and begin to draw. Being able to move back and forth between the pad and the drawing table is what really allowed the series to move so quickly. . . . Drawing is a fluid process, as glassblowing is a fluid process,"[6] and elsewhere, "If I didn't draw, I don't think the work would've progressed at the rate or in the direction that the work has gone."[7]

Chihuly incorporated drawing into his glass in a very specific way beginning in 1975, when in his Navajo Blanket series he and his students invented a way to pick up glass-thread "drawings" made on the marvering table and meld them into cylindrical vessels. "I think of the Cylinders as drawings," he has said. "These pieces are about the drawings—I almost think of them two-dimensionally."[8] A study for one of these works (p. 23) is, in effect, a drawing of a drawing, on glass.

GESTURE AS IMAGE

Glass is surely one of the most challenging of materials to draw. Seeking to render on paper the translucent insubstantiality, subtle textures, and inherent, changeable color of glass led Chihuly to invent new and risk-taking ways and materials for drawing. Describing drawings from the early 1980s (pp. 29 and 31), Chihuly said, "I started out wanting the drawings to look like the glass pieces so I experimented with different surface techniques, which resulted in using bunches of pencil and colored pencils by the fistfuls. I would often draw on the steel marvering table with bits of glass under the paper to give it a texture. For color, I used whatever I could find around the shop—tea, fruit juices, wine, coffee (my friend Italo's influence). I remember there was a period when I was drinking a lot of seltzer with bitters—the bitters made a beautiful saffron color. Mercurochrome from the medicine kit also made a great orange, but the bouquet wasn't as good as the bitters."[9] Chihuly is deeply involved with the physical fact of the paper. It is not merely a passive, flat recipient of marks, but is turned into an active collaborator in the work, a material in its own right, something to be carved and molded. Chihuly uses its physical properties of tensile strength, its resistance and its yieldingness, in works where the artist draws or rubs over small particles of glass placed underneath the paper (in a manner recalling the surrealists' technique of frottage, or rubbing). Even a pure pencil drawing like that on page 25 can become an inventory of possibilities, giving play to all possible marks and uses of the material, from soft "wash" effects created by delicate overall cross-hatching to a ferocious bearing down to produce a deep black that threatens to become a hole in the paper. Sometimes he pulls gobs or strings of molten glass across the paper; they skitter over the surface and leave in their wake a variety of marks, from delicate sepia-wash effects to, occasionally, a charred hole. Here his action becomes a kind of physical pun on the word draw, one meaning of which (in the Oxford English Dictionary) is "To form (a glass tube or the like) by drawing molten glass out in length."

If, in fact, the delicate color washes, the spattered paint, the seeming "speed" of the lovely multiple-filament lines (reminiscent of the wavy parallel striations in his Seaform series), and the rhythmic textures created by the rubbings all do combine to convey something of the mercurial fluidity of glass, it is ultimately, and more importantly, the process itself that has been recorded. Many of Chihuly's drawings from this period, especially drawings that relate to his Persian series (p. 34), seem to shimmer with a kind of seismic activity, as though they were the records of the activity of the brain, or responses to the pulse of existence itself. As his longtime associate Barry Rosen has observed, "They don't have rules, but they chart something."[10] In this they can call to mind the so-called "mescaline" drawings of Henri Michaux, which also teem and quiver and hum with a similar kind of febrile energy. Michaux wrote of his drawings, "I wanted to draw the consciousness of existing and the flow of time. As you might take your pulse."[11] Chihuly's drawings can also recall Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of the forces of nature: his studies of storms, winds, and the flow of wave patterns.

If Chihuly's drawings from the early 1980s can be loose indications of specific or, more often, generalized glass forms, there is a very distinct body of work from 1988 that, more than any other before or since, was intended to guide in the making of specific glass pieces. This came about when Chihuly was working with master Venetian glassblower Lino Tagliapietra. Although the drawings began as a necessary and rather straightforward means of communication between the two artists, they soon took on a life of their own, leading Chihuly's vision on, rather than merely recording or communicating it. As Chihuly tells it, "I began the blow with the idea of replicating the Italian Art Deco vases I had spotted that evening in Venice. I started with a simple drawing of a classical Etruscan form with several handles. After Lino finished the first piece I quickly made another drawing that was a little more complicated, involving additional bit work. After a couple of days the pieces became much more involved. It wasn't long before something started to happen. It opened first in the drawings. Around the fourth or fifth day I started to make bold drawings in charcoal. The series started a drastic change from rather refined classical shapes to very bizarre pieces: handles changed to knots, prunts became claws, colors went from subtle to bright, and big leaves and feathers appeared."[12]

These drawings for the glass works known as Venetians are distinguished by their bold silhouettes, often in charcoal, with generous areas of watercolor. The rich black charcoal is so soft, and Chihuly's working of it so impassioned and fast, that grains of black dust are sprayed around the forms, creating a nimbus of dust or smoky "exhaust," rendering vivid and visible the energy of their making, and reminding the viewer that charcoal, too, is a substance born from fire. The combined Art Deco and classical sources of their original inspiration are readily apparent (especially on page 45, with its modified amphora body and large graceful handles). In another drawing (p. 7), the massed prunts of applied glass take on the appearance of a flock of birds. Later Venetians become ever more fanciful and baroque, as the drawings related to them (pp. 60 and 61) become wilder and more abstract, with bold painterly gesture and splashes used to indicate the "prunts" added to the basic vessel form.

BREATH

Certain Chihuly drawings from various periods seem to show an informed understanding of Chinese and Japanese painting, which, although Chihuly has not acknowledged this directly, would not be unlikely, given the overall visibility of Asian culture in Seattle. The Zenlike simplicity of a very beautiful sheet from 1989 (p. 55), ostensibly describing a group of eight bowl forms laconically sketched in ink wash, blotted with patterned paper towel, and given black charcoal "openings," bears no small resemblance to the witty bird paintings of the seventeenth-century Chinese monk Bada Shanren, or to the famous painting of six persimmons by the thirteenth-century Japanese monk Mu Ch'i. Another Chihuly drawing (p. 5), ostensibly a series of bowl forms in three vertical rows, each row drawn in a single line from top to bottom, is reminiscent of Chinese and Japanese "running script" calligraphy, in which sequences of letterforms are often likewise connected in a single downward-flowing stroke. Chinese literati painting was derived from the visual conventions of calligraphy and is itself at its core arguably a form of writing. What remains throughout Chihuly's graphic work, too, is a sense of the drawing being written, with all that implies of improvisatory discovery in the moment.

Certain of Chihuly's later drawings, such as an unusually airy Chandelier drawing in eye-popping green on red (p. 109), carry the image of calligraphy a bit further. The concept of "color as metamorphosis" is certainly explicit here, where the form actually seems to wobble as we look at it, as is the sense of (faux) writing as image—as seen, again, in the work of Michaux. Even works like an extraordinary drawing (p. 85) with two circular forms, each created by a single swoosh of the artist's hand, or a still more surprising one (p. 140) in which the circle is broached by a violent red sweep of brush or broom, have a laconic, calligraphic character. By exhibiting so nakedly the process of their own making, they approach the unanswerable nature of a Zen koan.

What is important here is not a superficial resemblance to an "exotic" art form, but a genuine affinity to the state of mind that produced it. The quality of Ch'i, variously translated as "spirit" or "life-breath," is considered by classical Chinese commentators to be an essential element of great painting. Though hard to define, it might be considered something like the quality of unpremeditated discovery and the harnessing of natural phenomena that Chihuly values in his own drawing, with an additional parallel in the fact that the blown-glass object itself is literally given form by human breath. The quintessential "vessel" image in Chihuly's work, according to Rosen, has nothing to do with, say, pottery, but more with the bubble—that shimmering air-filled thing that in its fragility and tenacity, its fallible aspiration to perfect form, suggests the contradictions and aspirations of human existence.

FORCES OF NATURE

"My work, to this day, revolves around a simple set of circumstances: fire, molten glass, human breath, spontaneity, centrifugal force, and gravity," Chihuly says of his work in glass.[13] These natural forces are all crucial elements of Chihuly's drawing as well, not only employed in the making of the drawings, but simultaneously mirrored in their imagery. Natural processes are depicted in his work, where paint coagulates on the surface of the paper to react with previous and subsequent layers, creating "blooms" like the effect of oxidation on metal. Sometime around 1989, Chihuly discovered Golden liquid acrylic paints, which are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles. He has developed a full repertoire of actions using this paint: squeezing, dribbling, extruding it in long, threadlike strands from the bottle. Liquid paint simulates the appearance of molten lava—or glass; it is poured, squirted, spread with mops, or brushed on with brooms. It travels across the paper under the influence of gravity, to pool and puddle; it explodes in splashes of droplets dropped from a height; it shoots across the page with explosive force; it builds into dense balls of line through repeated circular motions. Chihuly draws with his whole body, often from a standing position, with the large (up to forty-by-sixty-inch) sheet of paper, or multiple sheets of paper (up to seven by thirty feet overall), spread out before him on the studio floor or table, or outdoors on the Boathouse deck. Drawing is not a solitary occupation for Chihuly, any more than glassblowing is. "The drawings have to do with releasing energy,"[14] Chihuly has said, but it is energy that is also replenished, it seems, from a collaboration of engagement with others, whether he is drawing in the hotshop during a blow, or in front of children or participants in a workshop, or even when, in a collaboration with the world at large, he draws outdoors on the deck of his studio on Seattle's Lake Union, with boats and seabirds circling close by, traffic on the highway bridges zinging overhead, and city and mountains visible in the distance.

The image of Chihuly standing over the drawing paper and walking around it—or across it—to apply paint from all sides unavoidably calls to mind the famous photographs and film of Jackson Pollock painting his "drip" paintings (or possibly Andy Warhol's half-ironic response to them, his Oxidation paintings). Although Chihuly would not consider himself either an abstract expressionist or a surrealist (nor a painter, for that matter), neither a Pollock nor an André Masson, both of whom associated working on the floor and from all sides of their paintings with gaining access to the unconscious, Chihuly does value the unconscious as one source of creativity. He is shown in one video telling children, "The drawing comes from inside," rather than a faithful replication of external reality.[15] Still, it is primarily the process itself that leads him—the process and its endless repetition. These drawings are not, at least in their making, quietly contemplative works, but rather the results of specific actions on specific materials. In the best of them, such as one (p. 85) with two balls that are the action of the circularly smooshed paint, the evidence of the action is indivisible from the image created. The act is the image.

REPETITION AND ACCUMULATION

Chihuly's Tacoma studio and storage space is a cavernous industrial building on the waterfront, the ground floor of which is filled with an overwhelming array of objects that he has collected. If they have anything in common, it might be that they are all vernacular American objects—folk art, in a way, but not by any means preindustrial. Lined up in rows on shelves, or hanging from the ceiling or from racks, are scores, even hundreds, of objects of various kinds: Native American-patterned Pendleton blankets, lunch boxes, baseball gloves, neon signs, wooden boats (full-sized), blenders, television sets, chalkware figures from the 1930s, accordions, religious statues, suitcases, transistor radios, Japanese glass floats, toy soldiers, board games, and so on. Chihuly is a postminimalist in more than just name: his work takes an active and aggressive stance against the idea of minimalism; "more is more" might be a central tenet of his aesthetic. His art, and its extension in his life, is filled with things in quantity. One object has a different meaning from a group of like objects. Sculptor Louise Bourgeois speaks of the importance of repetition for her work, saying, "Repetition gives a physical reality to experience."[16] Or again, "I have to repeat, and repeat, and repeat. It is that important to me."[17] For her it is connected to the power of art to exorcise the interior demons that trouble her, which must be placated over and over again. In many of the craftlike techniques that Bourgeois and other artists employ (such as Liza Lou and her beading, or Oliver Herring and his knitting), a somewhat mindless repetitive act is intrinsic to the realization of the built-up form. It can imply humility and patience, as well as the marking of time.

Repetition, too, is a process of nature, and a point of connection between Chihuly and other postminimalist sculptors, particularly Eva Hesse. Many, if not most, Chihuly glass sculptures consist of multiple elements, most obviously in his Seaform and Persian series of nesting or gathered, formally interdependent objects. In the Basket group, the individual objects are often near-replicas of one another, but in different sizes. In larger installations and environmental works, such as Red Spears in Vianne, France (and in the drawing on p. 131), repetition of like forms becomes even more important, and their relationship to an established lineage of postminimalist sculpture still more apparent. Even when they are not made up of separate repeated elements, individual pieces, such as those in the Baskets or other series, partake of this "serial" character by the very fact of being part of a series of like, but unique, works. Part of their identity is bound up in the fact that they are part of the dispersed "tribe," as it were, of their kind, calling to one another across the vast spaces of the art world.

Repetition is an important element in Chihuly's art overall, and specifically in his drawings, where the same form, with minimal variations, can be drawn over and over. Many early drawings (pp. 5 and 25) are concerned with an almost obsessive repetition of similar vessel-shaped forms. In later years, the repetition of forms has been relegated to separate sheets, notably in the series begun about 1994, and continuing to the present, of single, roughly spherical "vessel" forms (pp. 93–97). A series of such spheroids was used to create the beautiful mural of drawings in the Tacoma Union Station (p. 91). The fact that the image is not new but is repeated frees it from being the result of a conscious act of "design" at the moment of creation; the design has already been established. The action of the process, on the other hand, is by definition always new and in the moment, always re-creating itself, like an actor's performance. It is the process that, in turn, makes the image new again. With the act of ignoring the image, the image is created anew, over and over, each time with the freshness of the first time, changed, yet the same.

METAMORPHOSIS AND IDENTITY

We can trace one conjectural strand in the lineage of Chihuly's art back to Odilon Redon, one of the first painters to work deliberately from his unconscious, of whom Masson rhapsodized, "He gathered mother-of-pearl from shells. He made a collection of bits of rainbows, dust from stars and suns. He memorized the growth of plants, the way a petal falls, the sleep of the chrysalis. But he used this 'botanist's' arsenal to disclose mutations which he discovered in a light of fear and wonderment. Even his most reassuring bouquets suddenly will tear through their apparent repose, become astral vertigo, spurt and decline—a mystery." It was Redon, not Paul Gauguin, who first liberated color from "stylized naturalism," according to Masson: "He [Redon] demonstrated the endless possibilities of lyrical chromatics; he invented color as metamorphosis."[18]

Specific images of metamorphosis abound in both Redon's and Chihuly's work: plant forms, butterflies, sea creatures, spiders, chrysalises, disembodied eyes—though in Chihuly's case, the image is often implied rather than explicit. Both are fascinated with flowers, but always depicted in vases, rather than in nature, as though to contrast the burgeoning blooms with the static, pregnant vessels, and to imply and encompass their future demise within the image. And for both, the specific metamorphic imagery is often depicted in terms of pure color. For Chihuly, color is of course embodied in—one with—the material of glass, and all its infinitely various possibility of forms. His drawings, such as the Chandelier drawings (pp. 124 and 125), often seek to reproduce this, as though they were lit from within.

For Chihuly, the open vessel is answered by the closed chrysalis, the still, self-contained prelude to a metamorphosis that might then be made manifest in colorful butterfly-wing-like forms, such as those in the Monarch Window in Tacoma. The hanging Chandelier form, too, can be thought of as a chrysalis, or a gathering of chrysalises, with, hidden at its center, the spiky, spidery metal armature (reminiscent of nothing so much as a blown-up version of Marcel Duchamp's famous readymade Bottle Dryer). In its relative openness of form, a magnificent Chandelier drawing of blue tentacles terminating in yellow balls on a red ground makes explicit the latent spidery nature of the Chandelier form in general, allying it to the spider iconography of both Redon and Louise Bourgeois. Still, the Chandelier is an infinitely changeable conception, with, in a way, no single defined form of its own. It seems to exist outside of time, perpetually "in suspense." Always potentially in flux, metamorphosis, its only form is anti-form, an accumulation of integral units, which can theoretically be changed around, or taken apart and dispersed—and Chihuly has in fact been filmed tossing individual Chandelier elements into a river in Finland and watching them float away.

In his drawings after Chandelier forms, the page—or often several pages—is dominated by a single centralized mass, a "gesture" in paint, made up of many repeated smaller ones. Since the heroic days of first-generation abstract expressionism, the painterly gesture has lost its innocence; here and in other drawings, in common with certain young painters of our time, Chihuly seems, in part, to be depicting as much as he is using the gestural mark.

The schematic "people" that Chihuly sometimes adds to drawings—of installations and his sets for the opera Pelléas et Mélisande in particular—are little more than Xs, the most basic possible gestural mark (and surrogate signature of the illiterate), as if to say, "I am here, now. I exist." They also look a bit like spiders, which, like the artist, spin lasting creations out of their own body. (It is perhaps not insignificant that Chihuly's first recognition as an artist was as a weaver.) Chihuly's own signature often appears on the drawings, as do other words from time to time, words that might describe or identify a project or series to which the drawing relates, such as "St. Louis" or "Monterrey" or "Venice." These words and signatures become part of the composition and seem to underscore the "written" nature of the drawings themselves. His signature, especially, virtually illegible unless you know what it is, is melded into the composition as just another gestural mark—reinforcing the notion that Chihuly is his work, that his identity is invested in the marks, that the gestural mark is not merely a design but a sort of "reading" of his identity. Integrated into the overall work, it implies that the entire composition (and others unsigned) is in fact a kind of signature.

Far more than a kind of name "branding" of his art, à la Warhol (though it can be that too), Chihuly's signature, and the gestural marks it links up with, signifies his almost physical identification with his art. Paint has become, metaphorically, a bodily fluid. Paradoxically, it can be taken as a sign of the almost egoless state of self-forgetting that he enters when he makes art, as though it were his ego being released into the drawing along with the vital "energy" he has often described as being so released.

Making ever larger and larger drawings on multiple sheets of paper, and finding it increasingly difficult to apply the paint across such a wide area, Chihuly has had the idea that he would like to be suspended in a harness in midair over the paper so as to be able to apply paint from directly above it.[19] The image that conjures up is perhaps comic, but also profound and beautiful—the artist as Chandelier-spider, spinning a thread of paint onto the paper below.

CLOSING THE CIRCLE

"The eye is the first circle," wrote Emerson; "the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. . . . Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens."[20]

The constantly recurring image of the circle in Chihuly's late drawings has obvious implications beyond that of the "vessel" (or bubble) from which it probably grew. In certain images (pp. 148 and 150), one might see a single eye roaming the universe like the disembodied, but animate, floating eyes of Redon, or, if it is not too macabre a thought, a symbolic representation of Chihuly's own damaged eye, experiencing another reality beyond that of human sight. (Redon, too, in real life, had a "slightly divergent" or "floating" eye.) In pairs of circles (p. 139), one might also descry eyes, or other bodily organs. One might see spiders' eggs wound around and around with filaments of paint, or other seed or egg forms. Planets are there, in the fiery, gaseous process of metamorphosis, the sun, or the moon, "astral vertigo" . . . or none of the above.

These eyes, these planets, these vessels, open or closed, are in the end, as in the beginning, simply gestures in paint, true only to their own eternal action, continually being remade in the circular process of discovery and renewal.

Notes

  1. Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Circles," in Essays: First and Second Series (New York: Library of America, 1990), p. 184.
  2. James Schuyler, from a 1956 letter to John Button, The New York Public Library. Quoted in The Diary of James Schuyler, ed. Nathan Kernan (Santa Rosa, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1997), p. 15.
  3. Dale Chihuly, lecture by the artist, Glass Art Society (GAS) Conference, March 29, 1990.
  4. Dale Chihuly, "Kitchen Session Interviews," interview by Mark McDonnell, Seattle, March 1998, Chihuly archives.
  5. Dale Chihuly, from the video Chihuly at Bellagio, prod. AK Productions and Mirage Resorts, 28 min., 1998.
  6. Dale Chihuly, lecture by the artist, GAS Conference.
  7. Dale Chihuly, "Kitchen Session Interviews."
  8. Dale Chihuly, 1984, from an unpublished manuscript in the Chihuly archives.
  9. Dale Chihuly, quoted in Persians (exhibition catalog), by Henry Geldzahler (Bridgehampton, N.Y.: Dia Art Foundation, 1988), p. 29.
  10. Barry Rosen, conversation with author, February 2003.
  11. David Ball, ed., Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 320.
  12. Dale Chihuly, lecture by the artist, GAS Conference.
  13. Dale Chihuly, quoted in Seaforms, by Sylvia Earle and Joan Seeman Robinson (Seattle: Portland Press, 1995; reprint, 2000), p. 9.
  14. Dale Chihuly, quoted in ,Chihuly: Works on Paper, by Patricia Failing (Tacoma Art Museum, 1991).
  15. Dale Chihuly, from the video Chihuly in Action, prod. Michael Barnard and Portland Press, 27 minutes, 1999.
  16. Louise Bourgeois, quoted in Louise Bourgeois, Designing for Free Fall, by Christiane Meyer–Thoss (Zurich: Ammann Verlag, 1992), p. 194.
  17. Ibid., p. 127.
  18. Emphasis is Masson's. André Masson, "Redon: Mystic with a Method," Art News (January 1957), p. 61.
  19. "And so one of my ideas now is to get harnessed up, and so I'm floating above . . . the background, so I can paint directly above." Dale Chihuly, "Kitchen Session Interviews."
  20. Emerson, "Circles," p. 173.

Published in Chihuly Drawing. Portland Press, 2003.

More essays about drawing:
Chihuly: Works on Paper, Patricia Failing Dale
Chihuly: Works on Paper, Mary Murray
Drawing in the Third Dimension, Michael Monroe

DRAWINGS