"Looking after Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings and Fragments" has opened at the Art Institute of Chicago in Galleries 1, 2 and 24. The exhibition explores the work of the architect through the lenses of legendary photographers John Szarkowski, Aaron Siskind, and Richard Nickel.
In the 1950s, buildings designed by Louis Sullivan were falling out of favor, but due to the efforts of photographers Aaron Siskind, John Szarkowski and Richard Nickel a visual perspective of the architect's work survives. During this time the three photographers embarked separately on in-depth photographic explorations of more than 60 Sullivan designed structures. These photographers put ornament back at the center of Sullivan's production and drew new attention to it as the focus of art, intellect, and the freedom of man's creative powers--as Sullivan had originally intended it to be.
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to view more that 60 photographs, 20 Sullivan drawings and sketches, terracottas and metal architectural fragments that provide a rare opportunity to examine the architect's work across a variety of media. The exhibit is free with museum admission. Through December 12, 2010. www.artic.edu.
During his lifetime, Sullivan was known as the father of the skyscraper and served as an important mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright and other members of the Prairie school. Sullivan, who was known for his facade composition, decorative work, and architectural ornamentation, teamed up with Dankmar Adler in 1879. In 1883, the pair created the firm of Adler & Sullivan producing eight reconstructions and one new theater, the Chicago Auditorium Theatre, in seven years. The Auditorium Theatre at 50 E. Congress has been completely renovated and is available for tours. www.auditoriumtheatre.org.
Other Sullivan work in Chicago includes the Carson Pirie Scott building at 1 S. State St. which is currently being renovated.
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