I recently got to check out the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have been looking forward to this day for a while now and frankly I am a little dissapointed. Outside is beautiful, the grounds, the bridge up to the wing/restaurant is just fantastic but from there…heh . Lets start with the bridge. You start in Millennium Park and slowly walk up to the top of the museum, from there you ride an escalator or elevator back down to the ground level. You then enter the Modern Wing, but there are only a couple of galleries on the ground level. These galleries have two sets of doors each, but only one is an entrance. They don’t have signs pointing which is the entrance and which is the exit. For that they have employees to tell you to enter from the other side. Personally I don’e see why you can only enter from one side and not both. One of these galleries is the new photography gallery. In my personal opinion, this is way too small of a space for the medium (but I am bias), I wish they would have given it at least as much space as the gallery in the main section. The exhibit was a selection (my guess) of items in their permanent collection including a couple by Jeff Wall (I’m not a fan). If you want to see the best of this new wing head on up to the third level, there you will find the European work. This collection is awesome but what really makes this is the lighting that gently flows everywhere. THIS IS HOW ART WAS MEANT TO BE VIEWED. Unfortunately it is only like this on the top level and nowhere else (such a shame).
Now on to the best part of whats new at the AIC. Currently in the old photo gallery is an exhibit entitled Photography on Display: Modern Treasures THIS IS AWESOME, where else can you see the work fo Steiglitz, Stiechen, Man Ray, Andre Kertez, Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Lee Miller (seriously, where else can you see Lee Miller’s work? (I am a FAN)), This is definately the best of the best of the Institute’s collection.
Von R Buzard