Chicago Public Art Group
1259 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA
Chicago Public Art Group Reviews
Public Art in Chicago Aug 22, 2010
Chicago is a good city for just walking about in, not least because of the quality of the public art that you can see in the streets. In many cities, public art consists of some bloke you’ve never heard of sitting on a horse,celebrating a battle where he conquered some previously free nation and stripped it of its assets. I don’t want to get into any huge debates about what we choose to commemorate, but from a purely artistic point of view, I have limitedinterest in seeing another bloke on a horse. They all look remarkably similar,right down to the large moustache and steely expression. Chicago, thankfully, is not like that at all.
Perhaps the best known piece of sculpture is the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. I have reviewed the park separately, so I shan’t go into detail here, but it is gorgeous and you should go. But it is by no means the only sculpture worth diverting to see. Picasso donated his sculpture of, um, of a large Picasso sculpture to the city, and it sits in Richard Daley Plaza like a large, friendly, face or horse or horseface. When I went I had it to myself and it was great to see such a large Picasso place in the street. Just opposite that is a
Miro sculpture. Nearby, in an unassuming corporate plaza, and almost unmarked,
is a large mosaic by Marc Chagall. It is gorgeous and brightly coloured, and
much more detailed than a lot of public art. It’s definitely worth a quick
detour. More recent works include Agora, which is a huge group of giant
headless torsos meeting in Grant Park. I quite liked it.
Some of the skyscrapers have interesting sculptures or mosaics, too – they often
aren’t marked who or what they are, but I have put some photos in this review.
Chicago also hosts temporary outdoor displays of art. The giant lilies made of
car parts were a real favourite of mine, and I liked the Chinese contemporary
art display for the giant dinosaur, even if I didn’t get any of the other works
in that display. I didn’t like Eye and Cardinal, either, which are a giant Eye
and some banners with a Cardinal on them. But I don’t actually know that much
about contemporary art so it might be hugely significant, rather than just
hugely weird, for all I know!
All in all, leaving time for a quick walk around the streets is well worth it.
And it’s free. Which is always nice!
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