POSTED BY Katie R., ON December 31, 2010, Comments Off
Happy 2011 (with a little help from El Lissitzky, Barnett Newman, Bernadino da Carnago of Naples, and an anonymous Greek artist)! We wish you a happy, safe, and art-filled new year!
And as a reminder, the museum is closed on Saturday, January 1 and the following exhibitions close on January 2: Ballplayers, Gods, and Rainmaker Kings: Masterpieces from Ancient Mexico, Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Shouyang Studio: The Katherine and George Fan Collection, and Gray Collection: Seven Centuries of Art.
El Lissitzky, published by Theo van Doesburg. Suprematist Story of Two Squares (Suprematisch worden van twee kwadraten), 1922. Bob and June Leibowits Collection.
Greek. Earring, 4th/3rd Century B.C. Gift of Norman W. Harris.
Barnett Newman. Untitled 3, 1950. Through prior gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison.
Master BE (Bernadino da Carnago of Naples?). Halberd, early 16th century. George F. Harding Collection.
“Creepy,” “macabre,” and “decaying” aren’t necessarily words that you would immediately connect with art, but these are precisely the words that Art Institute staffers used to describe some of the most frightful works in the Art Institute’s collection.
In celebration of Halloween, we asked which pieces are most likely to scare them all year round. Here’s what they said…
Richard Hawkins’s disembodied zombie ben green, 1997 (from the current exhibition, Richard Hawkins: Third Mind) seems fitting both for Halloween and for year-round zombie lovers. It’s frightening, it’s beautiful, and it deals with two of my favorite subjects—male models and decapitation.
—Charles C., Contemporary Art
Picture of Dorian Gray by Ivan Albright
Ivan Albright is meticulous and macabre. And at this time of year, when celebrations like Halloween, Samhain, and Dia de los Muertos incorporate both ethereal and earthly notions into ritual, and the veil between the living and spirit world is thin, there’s no better time to view and contemplate life, the material world, death, and the spiritual world as depicted in this larger-than-life painting.
—Karen C., Auxiliary Operations
Without question, Ivan Albright’s Picture of Dorian Gray is the scariest painting in the Art Institute. For starters, it’s huge. It towers over you as you approach it, making you feel insignificant. The grotesque rending of the rotting flesh will make your stomach turn. The dark hues of purple and black fill you with a sense of gloom and despair. This definitely would have made Oscar Wilde proud.
—Dan O., Membership & Annual Giving
Head of a Guillotined Man by Géricault
Decaying heads are always creepy.
—Brice K., Auxiliary Board
Milton Dictating to his Daughter by Henry Fuseli
Fuseli defined Gothic Romanticism of the late 18th century, often illustrating macabre scenes from Dante and Shakespeare. Here the poet’s eyes roll back into his skull and his face is glazed over as if in a mystical trance. His gaunt face is in such contrast to the peachy skin of his daughter. The haunting aura of this work is supplemented by the red ribbon around the girl’s neck, which refers to the many who fell victim to the guillotine during this era.
—Terah W., Museum Education
Happy haunting, everyone!
Devoted ARTicle readers:
It’s 82 degrees in Chicago right now. The sun is shining. And Labor Day weekend is around the corner. We have an enormous amount of activity here at the Art Institute in September. We’re opening four exhibitions—the Gray collection of works on paper, a site-specific installation by Jitish Kallat, monumental pre-Columbian works in celebration of Mexico’s centennial and bicentennial, and Lewis Baltz’s Prototypes and Ronde de Nuit. We’re opening brand new galleries of Japanese art, which have been closed for nearly nine months. We’re starting a new themed season—“Seeing Things”—full of performances, symposia, lectures, gallery talks, and readings that will last through June 2011. We’ve also got a lot of ideas for the blog and will be publishing three posts a week, rather than two, starting after Labor Day.
But until that time, we here at ARTicle are going to go offline until September 7. We’ll be back with a vengeance at that time, but for now all of us need to prepare for September while enjoying some of the best weather Chicago has to offer. If you live here, you understand. See you at Foster Avenue beach! And then see you in September!
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. Two Sisters, Valencia, 1909. Gift of Mrs. William Stanley North in memory of William Stanley North.