ah ah

|1|-|6| Nothing is Enough, single-channel digital video projection, 2012 – by Frances Stark

Nothing is Enough consists of documented text fragments from Frances Stark’s online chat with a young Italian man, ranging from contemplative, self-reflective discussions to cybersex.

|7|- Fuck You: From the Liz Taylor Series (after Bert Stern), 1984, acrylic and composition leaf on canvas – by Kathe Burkhart

Kathe Burkhart is an artist and writer who uses images and text to, in her words, ”articulate a radical female subject.” She considers this confrontational, sensual work to be the first fully realized canvas in her Liz Taylor Series, ongoing since 1982.

|8|-|9| Pat Hearn, 1985, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen – by Andy Warhol

The Art Institute of Chicago

November 4th, 2017

Taking a line for a walk @ The Art Institute of Chicago

The monumental

1965, oil on canvas – by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986)

|2|- ”Bar on Skis” Liquor Cabinet, about 1930 – by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann

|3|- Painting of Madame X, 1927/30, oil on canvas – by Francis Picabia (1879-1953)

|4|- Forest and Sun, 1927, oil on canvas – by Max Ernst (1891-1976)

|5|- The Banquet, 1958, oil on canvas – by René Magritte (1898-1967)

|6|- In the Magic Mirror, 1934, oil on canvas, on board – by Paul Klee (1879-1940)

The Art Institute of Chicago

November 4th, 2017

The Magnificent Seven @ The Art Institute of Chicago

|1|- 1875/1900, gilt bronze – by Antonin Mercié (1845-1916)

|2|- 1895/1902 – designed by Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940)

|3|- 1902 – designed by Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940)

|4|- Day (Truth), 1896/98, oil on canvas – by Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918)

|5|- 1894, oil on canvas – by József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927)

|6|- Figure with Meat, 1954, oil on canvas – by Francis Bacon (1909-1992)

|7|- Nude with a Pitcher, 1906, oil on canvas – by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Art and objects from the Art Institute of Chicago permanent collection.

November 4th, 2017

The Art Institute of Chicago

After two full days absorbing as much as possible of the city’s stunning art deco architecture, it was now high time for some art. Enter the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest museums in the United States, one that is home to some of my favourite paintings and the one museum you should never leave Chicago without visiting.

And once inside, the danger is, you will never want to leave.

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas


Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884 (1884-86), oil on canvas


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Self-Portrait, 1887, oil on artist’s board, mounted on cradled panel


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Bedroom, 1889, oil on canvas


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Poet’s Garden, 1888, oil on canvas


Louis Anquetin (1861-1932)
An Elegant Woman at the Élysée Montmartre, 1888, oil on canvas


Harald Sohlberg (1869-1935)
Fisherman’s Cottage, 1906, oil on canvas


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Lucie Berard (Child in White), 1883, oil on canvas


Emil Nolde (1867-1956)
Red-Haired Girl, 1919, oil on canvas


The Art Institute of Chicago

November 4th, 2017

When in Chicago…

… weather permitting, go on an Architecture Foundation River Cruise on board Chicago’s First Lady. You will see some of the city’s most interesting buildings from a unique viewpoint and hear some of the stories behind them. You will learn how, in an effort to prevent their sewage waste flow into Lake Michigan – the city’s clean water source – Chicagoans reversed the flow of the very river you are touring, so that sewage would flow to Illinois and Michigan Canal,  and ultimately to the Mississippi River instead; a no mean engineering feat, admirable even today, let alone in 1900 when it was completed. Last, but not least, you will have some hot apple cider – spiked if necessary for that extra warmth.

You will take hundreds of photos.
You won’t regret it.

November 3rd, 2017

Chicago || The Carbide and Carbon Building

Aka The Hard Rock Hotel – although that was about to change. We didn’t know it at the time, but a month later, the hotel would close for renovation; it now operates under a new brand, as the St. Jane Chicago. But the exterior, covered in polished black granite, topped by a tower dressed in dark green terracotta with gold leaf ornaments, must surely remain as impressive as it has always been, since the day of its completion in 1929.

Then, there is the dazzling lobby, all bronze and dark Belgian marble and Art Deco features – minus, I guess, the guitars which will have probably found a new wall to grace.

The building was designed by the Burnham Brothers, a commission by the Carbide and Carbon Company to house their regional headquarters.

November 3rd, 2017

Chicago || At the end of the day [one]

After a full day of intense lobbying – in the most literal sense of the word, it was time to sit back and (re)collect all the stunning places, experiences and photos we took: the tour at the Rookery, the marvelous art deco details of the Board of Trade and the Field Building, the gorgeous Tiffany mosaics at the Marquette, the very atmospheric Monadnock.

And to top it all off, some serious public art adorning the streets of Chicago.

Flamingo – by Alexander Calder in the Federal Plaza


Chagall’s Four Seasons mosaic in the Exelon Plaza


The Winged Victory of Samothrace, cast from a mold from the original sculpture in the Louvre Museum, Paris – (but why make it gold at all…? marble would have been equally stunning)


We Will, a welded stainless steel sculpture by Richard Hunt


November 2nd, 2017

Chicago || The Monadnock

The Monadnock was conceived primarily as a business centre; in fact, upon its completion, it was the world’s largest office building. Architects Burnham & Root designed the north half (built 1891); Holabird & Roche designed the south half (built 1893). Names that are becoming strangely familiar, by now.

The ground floor is purely commercial; a café, a restaurant, various retail shops, a ”shoe hospital”, every single one of them oozing old-school elegance. I am sure their interior design, unique yet totally coordinated, is a prerequisite and constitutes a lengthy clause in their leasing contract.

Whatever the cause, the result is the most atmospheric commercial gallery I have ever encountered.

November 2nd, 2017

Chicago || The Art Deco City

There are so many buildings of architectural interest in the Financial District of Chicago, you’d probably need to join a guided tour to visit them all and learn about their history. But if you are a casual visitor – and a first-time one at that, just walk around, spot an interesting-looking building and then step inside its lobby. You’ll soon find out that these lobbies are not simply entrances to commercial or office spaces; they are, in reality, stunningly beautiful Art Deco treasure troves; and they provide excellent shelter from the rain, too.

Walk, for instance, inside the Field Building, built in 1934 by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White; another wonderful example of the Art Deco style:

Or enter the Marquette Building’s hexagonal lobby and be captivated by the exquisite mosaic panels depicting the journey of Father Marquette, a French missionary and explorer, first settler in the area we know today as Chicago,  in whose honour the building has been named.

The mosaics are designed by Louis Tiffany, son of Charles Tiffany, the famous jeweler; and Jacob Adolph Holzer, a Swiss artist who worked for Tiffany as their chief designer and art director.

November 2nd, 2017