Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Art, Baby

Well, it wouldn't be an inspirational trip without a look at what I found inspiring. Now, the Art Institute of Chicago is really famous for its collections. There's the Seurat and that stuff just blows my mind. It's the chance to see the images in every Impressionist wall calendar and textbook that I'd been missing. (the other images are usually from the National Gallery of Art in DC, or Musee D'Orsay in Paris, and I'd seen those...I'm into this art stuff, you might guess?)

What's even cooler are the Impressionist works that I'd never seen before, the John Singer Sargeants, and the painting of George Washington. So, I'm awestruck, but then, ummm, I had to go to the restroom. There, in the basement, I was tickled to find one of my favorite children's book illustrators had two galleries of his own. Chris Raschka works magic with his Charlie Parker Plays Bebop and his many other books that portray poetry, art and music for small children. He explains Coltrane through words and images. When read aloud? You can hear the music.

Next, I was tickled to see a gallery designated for contemporary design. It talked a lot about architecture (words on the wall, not totally effective in my opinion) but it was the display of textiles that caught my attention.

Check out this piece--a large piece of very ornate crochet, epoxied over a box shape, and the box was removed. This, to me, is both visually arresting and creative--a great new approach to art...AND, for those knitters who look down their noses at crochet? This crochet piece made it into the Art Institute of Chicago. Where's the stuff, snooty knitter?! (not there, there really wasn't much in the way of knitted art...but there was crochet!)

I was tickled to see this chaise longue with felted flowers on it. Complicated shapes, sewing and cutting created this. It's stunning in person.
I'm pretty fascinated by textile art, and when I left the exhibit, I felt excited about the directions this art might take me. My zafu cushions got a lot of praise, but alas, no one's bought them, they're useful but nothing compared to this museum's stuff! They came home, and I've posted them here at Etsy while I figure out what's next for me. I love making these forms, even if they never "go" anywhere.

What did I like "best" about this museum? The wide reaches of what was considered art. I saw Windsor chairs, folk art, Roman sculpture, and kid's book illustrations. That appreciation of an artist's honesty and the curator's revel, his/her humble creative joy? everywhere.

What's left from this four day trip? A little prairie school design, a Belgian horse or two...and a German living history farm. More to come.
PS: I was allowed to shoot photos in the museum, without flash. All this imagery is legal. Only wish I could remember all the artists' names!


Anonymous AlisonH said...

Cool! I love that chaise lounge especially. My dad's a modern art dealer, and we had an Eames rocker. Never thought much of it till I saw an Eames in a modern-art museum and realized that ours was in better shape than theirs was. Our chair was art? It was news to me!

March 19, 2008 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

You might try posting your cusions up on Ravelry Classifieds--I think its kind of a free for all for selling, although you'd have to check the rules.

I've never bought in the classifieds in particular, but I've bought lots of yarn in the ISO/Destash forum, and there are rarely any problems. (And there is a list of those who have fallen through.)

March 20, 2008 at 9:46 PM  

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