Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Modern Wing - What a Wonder!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to visit the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although it just opened in May, I had already heard lots of great things and was excited to see it for myself. I must admit, I was so taken with the building itself that my interest in the collections almost became secondary! The artwork I had seen it before, but this building... it's amazing! Built by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, it is light, airy, open and crisp. You are truly looking at works of art while standing in a work of art!

Diffuse natural light bathes everything in the building. The exterior glass walls and roof are covered with louvers which provide wonderful lighting conditions for the artwork and the interior glass walls have pull down shades which can be adjusted in the galleries during different times of day.

The main corridor is breathtaking and open to the top floor of the building with a floating cantilever staircase and balconies on the north side. But for me, the icing is literally on the top of the cake. The third floor galleries house the Modern European collection and seeing the likes of Matisse, Picasso, Mondrian, Kandinsky and Dali in this setting took the experience to a whole new level. Between the canvasses of these great artists are picture-perfect views of the city and Millennium Park and above you, the architectural interest of the louvered roof - also known as the "Flying Carpet".

I was so absorbed in the experience it didn't even occur to me to take any pictures. But it's better that you go see it for yourself! If you can't, be sure to check out the Art Institute website and see what they have to say about it. You'll be impressed with what you see.


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  2. I am glad you wrote about this. I needed a reason to head off to Chicago :)

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