The fecundity of Gehry's bandshell in Chicago

    From inside the Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing

    We look on Gehry's bandshell

    and trellis

    as a mound.

    See? Come a little closer.

    From the landscape it springs

    with fecundity and mystery.

    We know these mounds in Illinois

    as at Cahokia

    begun about 1050 CE

    Ponder this.

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Chicago's Stonehenge and Cosmic Dome


    Pantheon Dome with oculusPantheon

    Borromini Baroque Dome

    constellation Ursa Major

    Garden trellis


    Frank Gehry Pritzker Pavilion trellis Chicago Millennium Park

    Frank Gehry Pritzker Bandshell with trellis aerial view Chicago Millennium Park
    Fumihiko Maki - Nurturing Dreams: (Stonehenge) was a demonstration of community and a place of ceremony.... Standing in the space at Stonehenge, prehistoric man must have felt himself to be, however briefly, a larger human being than at ordinary times, and must have felt pride in belonging to a community....

    The sense that one is a larger human being, if only for a time, is a sign of spiritual exaltation which cannot be evoked merely by the sight of a monument. It is an experience that can be gained only by entering a space. Stonehenge may not have had a roof, but the pillars arranged in a circle and the lintels linking those pillars created a boundary between inside and outside, and a kind of interior space.

    Historically, a space that is large or high or created with a special technology or in a special place uplifts the spirit and forges communal bonds....

    Music and space, during the interval in which they are experienced, provide man with the most primary spiritual joy.

    Frank Gehry Pritzker Bandshell concert with people under trellis Chicago Millennium ParkPritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park
    Chicago, Illinois
    Frank Gehry

    and this
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The Ugliest Brno chair ever!

Unhappy Hipsters

Renzo reckons with the sky in L.A.

    Renzo Piano Resnick Pavilion Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA 1

    Renzo Piano Resnick Pavilion Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA 2

    The Resnick Pavilion, due to open later this year at LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We showed it to you under construction exactly one year ago. Now it's getting there.

    Here's how it relates to Piano's previous building at LACMA, the one behind it, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (2008).

    Renzo Piano Resnick Pavilion Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA 3

    Look for another update and more thoughts on the Resnick Pavilion here soon.

    Renzo Piano Resnick Pavilion Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA 4
    Renzo Piano Resnick Pavilion Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA 5
    Renzo Piano Building Workshop.Source URL:
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Important Frank Lloyd Wright items for sale

    Looking for a nice Valentine's Day gift? How about this


    1. Approximately 600 photographs... many either stamped "Property of F.LL. Wright" or with the penciled initials "FLLW."
    2. Approximately 300 photographic reproductions of drawings and plans....
    3. Several plans by members of the Taliesin Fellowship, redrawn specifically for Hitchcock's book. Ink and pencil on tracing paper, various sizes.
    4. 7 plans and one perspective of various projects, believed to be by Wright...
    5. 3 Typed Letters Signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright," "FLLW")...

    Frank Lloyd Wright original letter

    To be sold at auction here on February 14th, Valentine's Day.

    Honey, it's for you.
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A winter journey in Chicago, 'with' Renzo Piano and Ellsworth Kelly.

    Frank Gehry Walt Disney Concert Hall in winter Los Angeles CaliforniaWalt Disney Concert Hall
    Late December 2009
    Los Angeles
    Architect, Frank Gehry

    I left L.A. on New Year's day,
    took off my shades,
    closed the shade on the window of the airplane to Chicago.

    To glide into a dreamland more dreamy even than life in L.A.

    After three and a half hours in heaven a voice overhead said "prepare for landing."

    How to prepare for 0º weather?

    Unprepared, I opened the window shade.

    Chicago Midwest aerial view winter
    (To enlarge a photo, click it.)

    I had expected maybe palm trees?

    And so, I wondered, has any artwork captured a Chicago winter?

    Blues music maybe? How about visual art?

    My mind conjured up a piece I'd seen last spring - ah spring! - in the garden in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute. In spring it bloomed.

    New Pritzker Garden Chicago Art Institute Modern Wing Renzo Piano Ellsworth Kelly
    On the wall on the right hangs Ellsworth Kelly's "White Curve." Under a blue sky in spring "White Curve's" lacquered surface absorbs and mutes and then reflects a wide ever-changing and very subtle spectrum of colors and light. Like Michigan it absorbs and reflects colors.

    Now I had to see this white work in the snow. (Like Ahab, obsessed with a great white whale.)

    I waited some days here. No real snow fell. Last night it came down. Lovely. Most of the night and into the morning.

    I made the trek. To see the Kelly and the building around it and its reason-to-be-white- Renzo Piano's also very white Modern Wing of the Art Institute. The wing opened last May, looked terrific in spring and summer, but buildings and outdoor sculptures in this part of the world need to look good in four seasons. (We love Mies van der Rohe's white Farnsworth House in winter.)

    Today the top floor galleries of the Modern Wing which are covered with glass were also covered with snow. I was surprised they let the snow remain, but pleased. The light filtering through was cozy. And yet, when I saw

    I wondered

    Does it feel not quite right
    To see Hockney hang in wintry light?

    And those scowls on the Weismans make it a modern L.A. version of another painting in the Art Institute- a famous Midwestern duo also united by the flat, plain house they stand in front of:

    Grant Wood's American Gothic (1930)

    On a lower level hangs

    George Bellows Love of Winter Art Institute of Chicago

    "Love of Winter" - George Bellows - from 1914. It doesn't begin to convey the pain.

    The scene hardly looks cold, the sun is shining and they're having fun outdoors. It's an east coast winter, with hills and happiness.

    To capture Chicago's brutal yet romantic winter would require a more abstract art. I remembered grade school art class- we joked that we'd turn in a sheet of white paper and say it's a polar bear in Chicago in winter.

    Time to see what I came to see- Ellsworth Kelly "White Curve" in the Pritzker Garden. To see if it is a Sculpture for All Seasons.

    I pushed open the door from the Art Institute atrium that leads to the garden, and there it stood

    Art Institute Chicago Modern Wing winter Ellsworth Kelly Renzo Piano Gustafson Pritzker Garden

    Yes, the Kelly holds its own in winter. It sings poetically, if a lonely song.

    The guards don't let visitors traipse out to see it, not wanting snow brought back inside to melt.

    From inside, with those Renzo reflections that the Modern Wing is full of, the garden has its own color, even in winter.

    Art Institute Chicago Modern Wing winter Renzo Piano Pritzker Garden reflections

    I stood a while as the light changed and look at this "winter garden" from many angles until I thought "I heard" Schubert's Winterreise (Winter Journey)- the twenty-four poem melancholic song cycle. But modern winter in modern Chicago in the Modern Wing is not that bad. Technology certainly makes it more pleasant to get through winter.

    Art Institute Chicago Modern Wing winter Renzo Piano Pritzker Garden Gustafson
    The Modern Wing cost some $300 million dollars and they find out in its first Chicago winter that they need to plug in not one but two space heaters to keep the new entrance on Monroe Street toasty.

    Art Institute Chicago winter

    Yes, it's cold out there. You think back to where it's 73º. Part of you wishes you were there. But don't you always feel like you're floating in L.A.? You button up, pull the twine in your hood, put on your polar guard gloves, pause a moment to think if you can really make it where you're going, brace yourself and then push open the door. Every time it hits you in the face you can not believe how cold that air is! Tears leak out of your eyes.

    Quickly, go left to Michigan Avenue. Yes, city life here goes twelve months a year and Michigan Avenue is still happening. The cold never stopped us, it just makes us question our sanity.

    On your way you look up, as we do around here. You're under the Renzo Piano-designed bridge from the Art Institute to Millennium Park. The steel is icy. Its sublime whiteness in the sky reflects the snow below. It is going where it is going in the most direct route possible. It belongs here. You hunker down and realize you do too.

    Renzo Piano bridge Chicago winter
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What if Chicago calls it the "Spire Khalifa" ?

    Burj Dubai Burj KhalifaDubai

    January 4, 2010

    Chicago Spire Santiago Calatrava foundation empty hole
    Above - the mighty impressive Burj Khalifa which opened today, (designed by Chicago talent) born with the name Burj Dubai. When Dubai's economy hit the skids and the owners defaulted last November, neighboring Abu Dhabi's ruler Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan fronted Dubai some dosh ($10 billion). The tower thus opened as the Burj Khalifa.

    Below - a view today of the forlorn foundation of the sad and stalled Chicago Spire. In the city that reached for the stars. Sorely in need of some sugar daddy.Source URL:
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