Nightfall Macchia, 2015

Nightfall Macchia, 2015

The very elements of earth and nature can be found in Dale Chihuly’s innovative series Macchia. Minerals from the earth contribute to the vibrant and dynamic pigments that constitute the rich hues and spots of color joined to the flowing ribbed forms created intuitively through the force of gravity. The series name itself harks back to nature. Art historian Robert Hobbs observes, “When Chihuly appropriates the term ‘Macchia’ for his series, he gives back to the word some of its traditional meanings, particularly the emphasis on spontaneity, on artistic collaboration with technique rather than mere control of it, and on close kinship between artist and nature.”
 
In the 2015 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition Nightfall Macchia, shifting hues of ultramarine, turquoise, and light aqua drench the exterior of the rippling form while bright crimson “jimmies,” small chips of colored glass, are scattered across the surface, adding dimension and depth. The rich aubergine interior provides a profound, subterranean contrast. Combined, these qualities contribute to the illusion of a beautiful gem mined from the depths of the earth, not created by breath and gravity.
 
Each handblown Nightfall Macchia measures approximately seven inches in height and is signed by Chihuly. A Plexiglas vitrine and the Chihuly Workshop publication Chihuly Macchia—a compact book including a DVD and an essay by Davira S. Taragin on the historical and aesthetic contexts of this series—complete the ensemble.
 
The Nightfall Macchia is a rich example of Chihuly’s sensibility for the suppleness of glass in a fusion of form and color.

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Photo by David Emery.