A Squared: City Walk #9: Outdoor Art with Emma

Monday, April 9, 2012

City Walk #9: Outdoor Art with Emma

Having Emma around is always a fun excuse for us to go out and explore the city of Chicago in a way that we don't often get to as locals.  We were blessed with some amazing sunny weather this weekend, so we knew we needed to spend as much time outside as possible.

You might remember that one of Alex's and my New Year's resolutions was to explore more of our city, so when I found City Walks: Chicago: 50 Adventures On Foot, I knew it was a perfect Valentine's Day gift for him (or really, for us).  It's a deck of 50 cards and each one outlines a walking tour of a Chicago neighborhood and on the other side is a map to follow.  So fun!  We decided to try our first one this weekend with Emma: walk #9 Sculpture in the Loop.  Even though I am in the Loop almost every day it was fun to see it from a new perspective; plus we got to experience the culture of the museums for free while enjoying the gorgeous spring weather.  Win-win!

I've included some highlights from our journey below.  I'm hoping to do the same each time Alex and I try one of these City Walks!

#1: Richard Hunt's Freeform.  We completely missed this one at first, not realizing it was actually on a building.  Oh, and my husband decided to pull a Where's Waldo? move and get in on the photography for this one.  You'll see this a running theme from the day.

#2: Jean Dubuffet's Monument with Standing Beast.  This beast (pun sort of intended) is actually right across the street from my office... wouldn't have guessed that it was a renowned piece of sculpture.

Oh yeah, and you can't see it very well since he is in shadow, but there's Alex playing hide and seek again.

#3: Pablo Picasso's Untitled.  Is it an angel?  An animal?  Nobody really knows... This isn't the greatest photo of the sculpture itself, but I did enjoy Alex's tourist pose in front of the Easter installation in front of the sculpture on Daley Plaza.  A pretty arty shot, if I do say so myself.  :)

#4: Joan Miro's Chicago.  Or Forkhead, as Alex likes to call it.  It's right across the street from the Picasso sculpture and I believe it was one of the last works that Miro completed before his death in the early 1980's.  Alex couldn't resist giving this one a try either.

#5: Marc Chagall's The Four Seasons.  This mosaic is located down a level in a plaza, so it's become a big attraction for Chicago skater boys.  With the nice weather on Saturday there was no shortage of them around.  They were pretty enamored when Emma showed up and then when security kicked them out they said "those girls are harassing us."  Nice, boys.  Nice.  Emma and I decided to steal Alex's thunder in the photo on this one.
#6: Alexander Calder's Flamingo.  Under construction?  Boo!  This is one of my favorites.  Too bad it was difficult to see/photograph since it was all fenced in.
#7: Louise Nevelson's Dawn Shadows.  This one is inside the lobby of this building on Wells St. so it's even harder to see even though it's glassed in-- especially with the glare of the sun that day.  The story is that Nevelson was inspired by the Chicago El trains (which run right alongside this building) when designing this sculpture.

#8: Claes Oldenburg's Batcolumn.  We ended our sculpture tour in our neighborhood at the Harold Washington Social Security building.  It's not really in the Loop so I was surprised that this one was included in the tour and again, who knew that this sculpture was a big deal?  Also, the name "Batcolumn" really freaks me out.  I have a longstanding fear of bats and if this thing is in some way supposed to attract them then I will be making sure to keep my distance from it after dusk.  Rest assured though, I did some research and it's "bat" as in baseball bat... that seems pretty obvious looking at it now!


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