The Art Institute of Chicago

My weekend has been crazy busy. My sister came over from New York and of course, I had to make sure everything about her Chicago trip was perfect. That meant, cleaning the apartment, organizing my room and planning the places we were going to visit. Since my sister has always appreciated art, The Art Institute (which is my favorite museum in the entire city) was first on the itinerary.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The iconic Greek columns are indicative of European influences in the architecture. You will notice the continuation of this when walking up the grand staircase.

The Art Institute of Chicago

One of the things that I admire about this museum is their wide collection of impressionist paintings. If you can see in the photo below, they have a whole wing dedicated to the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Seurat and others.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Probably one of my most favorite paintings besides Van Gogh’s Starry Night, is At the Moulin Rouge by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. One amazing fact about this painting is that May Milton, an English singer seen as the disturbing green lady on the right, was originally cut off from the canvas since it made the painting harder to sell. Seen in the photo below are a couple of people trying to discern where the cut is located.

Chicago Spring Ate's Visit 2013 - 9

Another favorite part of the museum is the Modern Wing, designed as a bright open space with clean lines.

The Art Institute of Chicago

This is where Jeff Koon’s sculpture called Woman in Tub can be found. This is a memorable piece of art, not only because of its strong missive but also as a result of the vibrant comic-like composition. What I found most interesting is the abrupt sliced head which left only the woman’s open mouth delivering a message of shocked violation.

Jeff Koons

Jackson Pollock

Of course, we cannot forget Jackson Pollock, one of the pioneers of Abstract art. The one I’m standing next to is his work, Greyed Rainbow, which shows a distinct technique he introduced during the 1940s called Abstract Expressionism. An interesting fact to note is that Pollock rarely used brushes instead he veers toward unconventional tools such as sticks or palette knives.

If you are interested in seeing these art works in person and exploring the museum (which you should), look at the information provided below. Hope to see you there soon!

Contact Information:
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
+1 (312) 443-3600


Chapter 2: Giant by Tomoko Konoike

Created in 2005, this piece is part of a collection called “Story”. It’s made with acrylic, Japanese paper and wood panels.

The collection involves motifs and characters familiar to us from various childhood stories. However, they have been reconfigured in order to create a new narrative to help us re-examine our preconceptions about these characters and their circumstances.

Hall of Mirrors by Bruce Quek

Upon walking into the room, you’re greeted by blank walls with different clocks – each ticking away at a different rate. Upon closer examination, each clock face has a neat inscription like Infection or Cancer or HIV. Randomly, you’ll hear a soft bell-like sound, ting!

As you finish your tour, the attendant gives you a paper with a list of things and numbers. Apparently, the chimes that you hear means that a person somewhere in the world died of a particular cause.

The installation uses popular statistics, tries to strip the analytical aspect and “humanizes” it by letting viewers experience and reflect on them on a personal level.

I spent 7 minutes in the room and in that span of 7 minutes. 20 people died.

Photo of the Week

No One Can Save Us Now by Mojoko and Eric Foenander

It’s pretty obvious why this photo is wrong. This shouldn’t be happening to Superman. Although with the hot weather in Singapore, I wouldn’t be surprised. With that realization, the sculpture did its job. It’s a direct response to global warming. If this can happen to Superman, who is pretty much indestructible, what’s the hope for the rest of us?

V by Li Hui

A wonderful installation where the red laser beams are reflected by a tilted glass which creates the V shape. The shape of the lights hinting that everything in the universe has an equal yet opposite reaction. I felt a certain Yin and Yang effect, the balance of the universe.

I commend Li Hui for managing to create something that transcends space while offering a spiritual and futuristic experience.

How about you? What do you think of this art piece?

(Found: Singapore Museum of Art)