Monday, July 20, 2009

Public Art of Chicago

I just came back from a marvelous trip to Chicago. It was my first time there and a I had a great time. My friend Geoff lives there and was a great tour guide. I am going to try and split up my posts, because as usual, I have a lot of photos and things I want to say.

First, I love the public art in Chicago. Not only are the pieces really interesting, but a lot of them are interactive and by very famous artists. First here is the scupture by Picasso! It's a horse.

Almost directly across the street is a sculpture by the Spainard, Joan Miro. It's called the Mother.

Not too far away is a piece by Calder. It's called the flamingo. My friend, Geoff, who is working in Chicago as an architect is doing some work with this sculpture now. The plaza it sits on is leaking into the levels below. He is starting a project to replace the plaza and also fix the sculpture so it won't rust. Pretty cool, huh?

In Millenium park there are several pieces. There is an amphitheater and bridge that were designed my Geary. My friend Geoff got to be part of the local architecture team that worked on them in Chicago. They are pretty awesome looking, the metal that looks like it's curling back from the amphitheatre and the overlapping metal shingles on the bridge. I took a lot of photos of the bridge, I will only post one here. It was pretty awesome looking. At the amphitheatre there was a free preformance of the music from the Pirates of Penzance. That was pretty cool too!

Also in Millenium Park is what Geoff called the Bean. It has some other name but I don't know what it is. It was pretty cool. As you can see, it's highly reflective and interactive. People can walk under it. There is another piece nearby, with a face on it in LED lights. There is water that runs over the top of it. The face changes and after awhile it purses it's lips and looks like it's spitting water. I didn't get a good photo of it. You can just barely see the top of the face over the trees in this photo. They are also putting what they call pavillions in Millenium Park. They just finished the first one. I don't much get this one, but it is something you can walk around under. It had rained and it was wet. There were kids in swimsuits slipping and sliding all over it.

There was also a sculpture copied from the painting American Gothic. These figures are huge.

Inside the Chicago Cultural Center, there was some really cool art glass from the 20's.

I'm going to do a separate post just on architecture, but there were some neat gargolye figures on top of the main public library too.

I have not felt as engaged with the public art here in Phoenix, but it does make me what to go and take some photos and see what I think after looking at it again. I really like Chicago and what they have invested in themselves over time.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for identifying the sculptures! I don't suppose there are any more cow sculptures there now? What an enjoyable excrusion!

Suzanne Barker said...

Geoff emailed and said the bean is officially called Cloud Gate. Also that I was supposed to write that the architect was Gehry not Geary. So there are my corrections!