Art Letter

June 2012 Archives

Big Art
I love watching art being installed - and sculpture in particular. I never understood why museums and galleries shut their spaces from public view and post "Closed for Installation" signs. Sure, cordon of the space to protect the art and the people, but let's let the public see what's going on.  It makes Art even more exciting.

L1060647.JPGL1060640.JPGThe brilliant sculptor, Nancy Rubins, is in town from L.A. installing her mind-boggling, gravity defying, big sculpture on the front lawn of Navy Pier, comprised out of something in the neighborhood of 30 discarded canoes.

L1060639.JPGL1060636.JPGEvery canoe is placed to play off the other canoes, and the environment, space and cityscape. This isn't the kind of art that an artist can have installed in absentia. Important decisions are made every moment to get the art the way Rubins wants it, so that when we look at it we just marvel at the impossibility. 

Joesph Tabet is the Producer of Big Art @ Navy Pier, a wonderful Free exhibit of, just that, Big Art.  He deserves our thanks for the vision of bringing Nancy Rubins' sculpture to town where it plays off of and romps with a large Roy Lichenstein sculpture of paint brushes and a bright, orange, yet somber, elegant sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro.

The Caro and the Lichtenstein have been in place for a number of weeks, but now is an opportune time to go watch canoes being levitated and to then return to see how Rubins' piece looks completed.  

More large scale art will be added during the coming weeks, constituting more opportunities to see and understand how artists work and compose their pieces, as well as the order and and installation logistics necessary to pull off the magic.  

Synergies abound.The Lichtenstein at Navy Pier complements the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute.  The entirety of large-scale Navy Pier art resonates with Jessica Stockholder's Color Jam triumph in the Loop at State & Adams.  This summer is a particularly good time for art in Chicago.  

I'm going back out.

Thank you,
Paul Klein

Color Jam
Jessica Stockholder is a wonderful, charming, humble, major, highly influential artist who has changed how sculpture is made, perceived and appreciated.  

JS iusd.jpg
Chicago is fortunate that she moved here, to the University of Chicago, a year ago. (And I am fortunate that she will be participating in a Klein Artist Works webinar in July.)


Unlike most art-related articles I've seen in non-art publications, none of the comments I've seen online is negative.  This is remarkable.  We have a large work of art that is pushing boundaries, entering new territory, changing the landscape, interacting with the City, altering people's lives and it is being embraced.


Color Jam, at the intersection of State and Adams, is a project enabled by the Chicago Loop Alliance, an organization comprised of Loop businesses who each pay into a fund to augment business(es) in the Loop, and they realize that art has many purposes, of which at least one, is theirs. Kudos and thank you.

This is the 3rd Loop Alliance long-term summer art project.  The first was Tony Tasset's huge Eyeball. (Mr. Tasset is also participating in a Klein Artist Works webinar this summer.)  The second was Kay Rosen's Do Good Chicago.  Color Jam may be the most unequivocally popular, and the Loop Alliance deserves major credit for the level of quality they've embraced.

The Loop Alliance has come to stand for quality - unlike the preposterous, huge, stupid sculpture of the wonderful Marilyn Monroe, or the embarrassing, ridiculous 5-foot golf balls that will line Michigan Avenue in honor of the Ryder Cup later in September. Over 100 of these 5-foot balls will be painted, including one by LeRoy Neiman.  And even worse, these balls will be on view during ExpoChicago and the International Sculpture Conference.

But for now, let's celebrate the moment.

Thank you,
Paul Klein