‘Chihuly in the Desert’ Opens at Taliesin West

Exhibition marks first-time partnership between glass artist and architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark property

Art, nature and architecture come together in a stunning display of synergy at two iconic spots in the Valley. Dale Chihuly marries his glass sculptures to nature and architecture at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale.

This is the first time Chihuly’s work has been paired with Frank Lloyd Wright’s singular architecture. The exhibition, Chihuly in the Desert, is now on view at Wright’s famed home and studio, Taliesin West, one of Arizona’s most iconic landmarks and the state’s only cultural UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chihuly in the Desert showcases six art installations placed inside the building, on the lawns, in the water and emerging from the desert itself. Each installation is a rich dialogue between Wright and Chihuly, pairing the work of the two masters in a way that has never been done before.

Taliesin West was Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory, an ideal backdrop for exploring the elements and principles of design, present in both Chihuly’s sculptures and Wright’s architecture. The works include “Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers” at the Entry Plaza, “Red Reeds & Niijima Floats” at the Front Pond, “Black Saguaros and Scarlet Icicles” on the Studio Lawn, “Golden Celedon Baskets” in The Garden Room, “Fire Amber Herons” at the Tower Pool and “Marine Blue and Citron Tower” at the Garden Squares.

Chihuly is known for revolutionizing glass with immersive, large-scale installations around the world. The interplay of Chihuly’s work with architecture has been core to his practice since studying interior design at the University of Washington in the 1960s.

“It is a pleasure to return to the Sonoran Desert with a new exhibition. Developing and placing work in the distinct environments of Taliesin West and Desert Botanical Garden has been a unique opportunity for me and I hope everyone who visits will find something beautiful and unexpected in the experience,” Chihuly said.

Over seven decades, Wright explored, invented and redefined American architecture through innovative projects and experimental approaches. His aim was to design structures that truly connected with their surroundings and focused on synergy between the built and natural environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Similarly, over five decades, Chihuly has explored new and old glassmaking techniques, pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. He draws inspiration from the world around him, creating statements using color and form to capture the imagination and catapult beyond the conventional ideas of function and beauty.

Chihuly in the Desert is co-presented by Taliesin West and the Desert Botanical Garden, with both venues featuring the artist’s works through June 19. To purchase tickets to either venue or to learn more, visit chihulyinthedesert.org.

Featured photo:

Dale Chihuly, Red Reeds and Niijima Floats, 2021. Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona. © 2021 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved. Photo by Nathaniel Willson.

Lower photo:

Dale Chihuly, Fire Amber Herons, 2021. Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona. © 2021 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved. Photo by Nathaniel Willson.

About Perrine Adams

Perrine Adams is the Managing Editor of The Red Book and Lifestyle Editor for Frontdoors Magazine.

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