Flesh And Bones

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Ivan Albright exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago is suffocatingly beautiful.

This Chicago painter, who worked between the Wars into the 1980s, was noticed in a military hospital when he was asked to illustrate a procedure. From that point, he worked as an artist for the military and later trained along with his identical twin at The Art Institute of Chicago. He rejected his father’s “pretty” impressionist approach in favor of decadently decaying depictions.

So much of this exhibit exists within the worlds of the living and the dead — his subjects hold madly, desperately to living while their bodies, and even environments, betray them. The monk concedes that he cannot look any more spiritual. The young mother embodies the costs of bearing children. Even Dorian Gray’s desire for control causes him to careen, as the color contrasts suggest, out of control.  Continue reading “Flesh And Bones”

Sculptors As Storytellers

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I always thought that sculptures were more like snapshots, but I learned, after exploring the Rodin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, these art works can embody stories.

On one wall is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, who claimed that people were weary, in 1886, of “statutes that say nothing” and that Auguste Rodin offered statutes “that live and speak, and speak things worth uttering,” which was clearly evident in this exhibit. These selections by the AIC from its own and private collections showed me how sculpture can, in the serpentine twists, for example, of Eve’s body, evoke and create context. In so doing, it can situate these artworks in the world of storytelling and other forms of meaning-making.  Continue reading “Sculptors As Storytellers”

Obvious

I had been wanting to see Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) for some time when I finally stopped at the Art Institute of Chicago. I made my way to the back and then up the stairs where I found this painting. I stood before it, gazing and wondering, intrigued by the missing doorways and interpersonal spaces, as well as the setting, colors, and light. Once I had my fill, I left the gallery and wandered toward the stairs when my eye snagged on another painting. Continue reading “Obvious”