Where have I been all day? I went to to the home of Anish Kapoor’s iconic public sculpture “Cloud Gate”, to visit it and some other fine pieces of art. The Bean was precisely as usual: epic in scale, colossally shiny and surrounded by photographers. I joined their ranks for a while, and who could blame me? The Bean is also extremely photogenic. Don’t worry– I had both the good cameras with me so I wasn’t shooting with the New Phone Camera all the time.
The best thing about the Bean, though, is that it is right across the street from the Art Institute. Residual loyalty to the Cleveland Museum of Art keeps me from telling you that the Art Institute of Chicago is my favorite art museum, but it really sort of is. I’ll be writing later in the week about the very fine exhibition of the early work of Rene Magritte that I specifically went to see, but there was a Big Dumb No Photography Rule in place for that and this is a picture post. Luckily the Art Institute gives cameras and their handlers the run of the rest of the place, so I can share photos of some of my favorite paintings, like The De Chirico with the Artichokes and That Matisse Where the Woman is Staring at the Goldfish Like She Is Somehow Dissatisfied With Their Performance.
There were also two other very interesting special exhibitions. One was a collection of the photographs of Edward Steichen, including not just his wonderful celebrity portraits for Vanity Fair but some of his work is a pioneering military photographer during World War One, including this portrait of General Pershing in a vaguely defined and rather non-military looking space. And the other just rocked the Prints and Drawings gallery with an amazing collection of Mexican prints from the Taller de Grafica Popular (the Popular Graphic Art Workshop, or TGP) which produced powerful, beautifully rendered and primarily political art from 1937 until well into the postwar period. I sure hope my more serious photographs of some of the really bold graphic works are successful, but for now, here’s a small scale shot of one of the smaller scaled pieces, a wonderful 1941 lithograph of a woman and a child visiting a museum by Alfredo Zalce. Looks like that’s a natural history museum rather than an art museum, but the feeling of awe at the unfamiliar space and its weird contents is exactly the same.