The Art Institute of Chicago's New Installation Lights Up Chicago Nights With A "Fuller" Moon.

The Art Institute of Chicago's New Installation Lights Up Chicago Nights With  A "Fuller" Moon.
Spencer Finch. Lunar, 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist and ESAM/Larry Smallwood. © Spencer Finch.

A new installation on the roof of the Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago adds another bright spot to Chicago’s skyline. The site-specific “lunar lander module” by American artist Spencer Finch (b. 1962) uses energy from sunlight to power a geodesic dome-shaped object–named a “buckyball” because of its resemblance to the carbon molecules named for visionary architect Buckminster Fuller (which actually makes it a “Fuller” Moon).

The “Fuller Moon” officially named Lunar, will shine its moonbeams over Millennium Park–evoking memories of the full moon summer night it was created (in July 2011).  Lunar will continue to cast its warm, and comforting glow throughout the the Windy City’s dark, cold autumn, winter and early spring nights through April 8, 2012.

The luminosity of the Lunar installation was created through artificial means. Finch explains,“I have always loved nocturnes and the impossible attempts to paint near-darkness in near-darkness. I figured there were probably enough literal pictures of the moon, so I began thinking about the form of moonlight and how it is actually reflected sunlight. This led me to explore the use of solar power to generate the light of the moon. The structure of the lunar module and the buckyball followed in short order—I thought it would be fun to imagine that a lunar module returning from the moon with moonlight on board landed on top of the Art Institute.”

Spectators can “see the light”, every night, now through April 8, 2012, from Michigan Avenue and Monroe, Millennium Park, The Nichols Bridgeway, The Bluhm Family Terrace and other nearby locations.  The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 S. Michigan Ave.

About the Artist
Spencer Finch was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1962. He received a degree in comparative literature from Hamilton College and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. The artist has had solo exhibitions at ArtPace, San Antonio; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. His work has also been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Barbican Centre Art Gallery in London; Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others. His work is in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; among others. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

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