Home Away From Home – At the Art Institute

1 Oct

Since I got a membership to the AIC, I have essentially moved in.  I get in for free now, so there’s every reason to go as often as possible.  I love almost everything in there, too — I mentioned the Frank Lloyd Wright Japanese art collection in my last post, and I want to call it to your attention again because it’s so understated and beautiful.

The Japanese/Chinese art gallery is always very quiet and smells strongly of ultra clean carpet.  The air is sharp and dry.  As soon as you turn into the gallery, you are shrouded in reverence, pressed into quiet contemplation of the art.  This is not a gallery where you can carry on a conversation.  It’s as much about admiring the art outwardly as using the collection as a mirror to look inward.

Does that sound trite, or cheesy?  It’s hard to describe the gallery.  It’s such a peculiar place, like you’re stepping out of time.

But the rest of the museum is equally amazing.  The staircases, for example.


They aren’t even part of any collection, but they’re so beautiful.


Architecture is my favorite sub-field in art.  I’m doing research right now on sustainable architecture in China, which is really just an excuse to cram two of my favorite subjects together.


Check that out, okay.  Those angles.  That lighting.  Oh my God I lose my shit over geometric design, okay?  I admit it.  I just love the mathematical precision of architecture.  It comforts me like nothing else can.


In the Modern Wing, heading up to the European art where there is located a Mondrian.  I could stare at Mondrian for hours.  It’s the same situation as architecture – clean lines, perfect angles, and geometry bring such peace of mind.  That’s also why I love Frank Lloyd Wright so much, and minimalist mid-century architecture more than Gothic, or Sullivan-esque stuff.


The window to the new Studio Gang Architects exhibit.  I went to the member preview and spent… two hours?  I think that’s about right.  That exhibit actually gave me the idea to research sustainable architecture, because I had been doing Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees before. But SGA’s buildings are all inspired by nature, and act as extensions to the natural habitat where they’re built.  For example, their plan for Chicago’s Northerly Island hinges on a hexagonal design like the comb bees make.  I think it’s obvious why I love them.  I wish I could tell you all about SGA, but it would take pages, and pages, and pages, and more time than you probably have,


I like to think of this guy as a guard to the Modern Wing.


Portrait of a Pencil I Saw Next to Some Guy’s Elbow


I’m not going to lie, most of the reason I love this sculpture is the fact that he looks like he’s got a mustache.


For some reason I find the idea of a marble mustache hilarious.


Sitting outside the New York photography exhibit.  I don’t go down here very often because it makes me miss New York too much.


And thus concludes the tour of my second (third?) home.  Back to our regularly scheduled baking posts.


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