Modern Winging It
The last time you heard from me, I was encouraging everyone in Chicago (and everyone else, really) to visit the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since I found myself downtown yesterday, I decided to practice what I preach and take a look-see for myself. And I was not disappointed.The admission is free this week, and nothing draws a crowd like free. The place was definitely buzzing, with people of all descriptions there to see what all the fuss was about. I hope that this level of energy persists once the novelty (and free admission) are gone, but only time will tell.
As for the building itself, it’s basically the highest open floor plan you can imagine. It’s bright, airy, and inviting inside, with three level of galleries to interest you. And the Pathfinder kiosks, where a large flat screen acts as a touchscreen offering directions to the galleries–complete with thumbnail samples of the works in each one–are the avant-garde of technology in public facilities. They’ll help you find whatever it is you want to see.
Much has been written about the Nichols Bridgeway, an aerial walkway from the Museum’s third floor into Millennium Park. And it’s certainly a cool experience, being able to see the city and the lake from such a vantage point at the same time. One more point in the new facilities’ favor.
The art itself is stellar, with Picasso, Pollack, de Kooning, and lots more on display. There’s even some sort of room devoted to videos of clown torture, which I’m still kind of shaking my head at. But that’s what art can do, right?
Some of the pieces and the artists will be fodder for posts in the future. But for now, I can tell you that it’s a feast of modern art that probably can’t be found in too many other places on earth. It’s well worth a look.