This world-first art gallery for Lalique is perfectly positioned at the Burlington Arcade, and features Lalique Art collections including those with Damien Hirst, Zaha Hadid, Terry Rodgers, Han Meilin and Nic Fiddian-Green. However, we were all gathered for a sumptuous dinner in the Arcade to explore their exemplary collaboration with the great American artist James Turrell.
Lalique Opens its First Art Gallery in the World
24th May 2023
Lalique, the iconic French crystal house opened its first art gallery in the world in historic Burlington Arcade last week. SPHERE's Lisa Barnard was there to witness the unveiling of James Turrell's work with Lalique and a special limited edition collaboration with The Glenturret.
For over half a century, Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. An avid pilot who has logged over twelve thousand hours flying, he considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas, and his exceptional work with Lalique captures this light expansiveness in beautiful glass artworks that are a joy to behold.
Two limited edition perfume bottles by Turrell, Range Rider and Purple Sage and limited-edition panels, named Crystal Light – are on show there for the first time together with the addition of an exclusive new limited-edition piece by the artist, Eight Decades, in partnership with Glenturret Whisky.
The Glenturret, Scotland’s Oldest Working Distillery created Eight Decades, in collaboration with Lalique and James Turrell marking the first time the celebrated artist has worked on a whisky decanter.
The Eight Decades decanter is, of course, an ultra-limited-edition – just eighty worldwide – created as a celebration of the artist’s eightieth year and a poetic tribute to generations of craftsmanship – both The Glenturret distillery (since 1763), and Lalique’s master glassmakers (since 1888).
Realising the artist’s vision for Eight Decades required an immense amount of design work, from drawings to mould manufacturing, hot glass trials and prototypes. The shape and colour of the bottle, which has a neck injected with violet crystal, created a technical difficulty for the Lalique artisans in the factory in Alsace, ensuring that the crystal be evenly distributed to offer a transparency that would magnify the amber-coloured whisky inside.
The final design has a perfect, pared down silhouette: flowing curves combined with tapered lines and a rectangular base. The pyramidal shape of the deep blue crystal stopper is inspired by Egypt and its monuments in which light served ceremonial purposes.
“I love a single malt whisky," shared James Turrell. "I described the whisky my father enjoyed as inspiration for the team at The Glenturret: my father’s description of civilisation was a fine whisky and a good cigar. There is also the idea to relate the decanter to the work in crystal I have previously completed with Lalique – I wanted this piece to have the same sensibility as the perfume bottles. A tribute to Egypt, pyramids, and stupas, these architectural forms are cross-cultural. They move something deep within me.”
“The collaboration with Lalique and James Turrell makes perfect sense when you recall that René Lalique was known as the ‘sculptor of light’. This collaboration brings together James Turrell’s universe, the house of Lalique and The Glenturret in an emotional journey and one of which I am extremely proud," says Silvio Denz, CEO and Chairman, Lalique.
We couldn't agree more.