I finally got around to see the Dale Chihuly “Through the Looking Glass” exhibit at the MFA. There was a line to get into the exhibit, something I’m not used to seeing at the MFA, but it was more than worth the short wait.
The multicolored, flora-like glass sculptures are captivating. The more you look, the more details, curves, and colors you see.
He calls some of the installations “Persian,” as he sees similarities to Persian and Byzantine designs, but I feel this is a misnomer. Most of the pieces remind me of flowers, fish, or coral reefs, not Persian rugs or Byzantine churches. The fact that the exhibit is dark, with most light coming from the glass pieces, adds to the aquatic feel of Chihuly’s work; it’s like seeing jellyfish and anemone illuminate deep water.
My favorite installation might be the Persian Ceiling. Various pieces of glass work are suspended above you, the light shining through them illuminates the room in a warm, orange color. The pieces resemble flowers, shells, and pieces of a coral reef. Many visitors sat on the floor to look at it, and one woman even laid down to take it all in.
While some pieces definitely seem inspired by nature, there’s also a selection of pieces inspired by Native American baskets and a selection of spiky chandeliers.
I highly recommend visiting the exhibit before it leaves Boston. It’s in town until August 7, so go and see some amazing glasswork.