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Ulysses Cylinders by Glass Artist Dale Chihuly

Vassar College will present the United States premiere of Ulysses Cylinders, by Dale Chihuly and Seaver Leslie with Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick October 11 through November 22, 2015. This collaborative exhibition combines magnificent glass sculptures created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly, with pen and ink drawings by painter Seaver Leslie.

These blown glass vessels were created with imagery inspired by James Joyce’s famed novel Ulysses, and have previously been shown only at Dublin Castle in Ireland in the summer of 2014. Ulysses Cylinders explore themes pertinent to a recounting of occurrences from a single day in Dublin as described in the text.

The Cylinders, first created in 1975, were among the first glass works in Chihuly’s oeuvre. A new technique was developed to fuse glass thread “drawings” on to cylindrical vessels while in their molten state. In 2013, Chihuly and painter Seaver Leslie, together with artists Flora C. Mace and Joey Kikpatrick, decided to revist this body of work, focusing on Joyce’s Ulysses as the sole inspiration. Working with Leslie’s pen and ink drawings, Mace and Kirkpatrick created fragile glass drawings which Chihuly and his team then fused onto forty-five  individual cylinders speckled with gold leaf.  By applying Leslie’s adapted drawings to simple cylindrical forms, Chihuly offers a series of visual portals into Joyce’s narrative. This new body of work is a revelation in its simplicity, and it pays homage to the intricate novel.

Dale Chihuly, shown here with President Hill and spouse Leslie Chihuly '83, celebrating Vassar's Sesquicentennial at the Chihulys' Seattle boat house.

Also on view will be James Joyce’s Ulysses: Text and Art, an exhibition from Vassar’s Archives & Special Collections, which features volumes of the book illustrated by Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell and Eric Gill.  Organized as a companion to Ulysses Cylinders, the books outline the history of  Joyce’s text and show the role of artistic interpretation.

For more information about Ulysses Cylinders and James Joyce’s Ulysses: Text and Art, visit: http://chihuly.vassar.edu/


Saturday, October 10

The college will host a private viewing of the exhibitions, with lectures by Michael Murray, professor emeritus of philosophy (“Censorship and the Arts: A Conversation on James Joyce’s Ulysses”), and Abby Bender ’96, adjunct assistant professor of Irish studies at New York University (“An Epic of Two Races: Jewish and Irish Identity in James Joyce’s Ulysses”).

At lunch, guests will be seated in class clusters and with fellow parents. 

To register, click here.

Shuttle service will be provided to and from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North/Amtrak station at designated times on October 10.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, September 9, 2015