A Michigan Ave Collage appears outside the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sitting in Terzo Piano, the restaurant on the third floor of the Chicago Art Institute’s Modern Wing, I turned to the window and this view caught my eye. I came to see the art in the museum, but I didn’t expect to find art outside the window, a composition in gray and black. I closed my eyes and imagined that the buildings were part of a collage, each separate paper punched with rows of rectangles or squares.
The silvery train cars at the bottom anchor the picture, their black lozenge shaped windows raise the eye to the next level, a massive rectangle stretching across the space with rows of dark square windows.
Behind it is a group of buildings on Michigan Avenue, all about the same height. On the left, the white modern building has horizontal stripes of black windows, in contrast, the facade of the next building is framed in a light color band, its inner rectangle is dotted with slightly darker squares and a row of columns tops it; the narrow white building slightly behind the others has square windows. Next door. a double-deck building is topped with arched windows. The two buildings to the right have pitched roofs, looking like houses that have been vertically stretched. Finally, the building behind the others is dark grey, its facade of windows like a fabric stretched over a frame, giving it a contrasting texture to the light colors of the buildings in front of it.
Finding unexpected art is always a pleasure. A group of train cars and buildings become a collage of shades and shapes.
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