At the Art Institute, it has been very exciting, as we close in on our museum-wide reinstallation program, to see a familiar space transformed into something new and different. The new Roger L. and Pamela Weston Wing and Japanese Art Galleries are just that. The galleries opened on September 26, with their physical layout fluidly reorganized around certain focal points. They feel incredibly elegant and feature many recent acquisitions. The space was designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture and Planning; fans of Tadao Ando’s gallery of pillars will be happy to learn that Ando was Yantrasast’s mentor, so the slight renovations to the lighting in the Ando gallery were in good hands. The new galleries are subtly beautiful, with details like plush carpeting, diffused lighting, and cool wall colors. These touches complement curator Janice Katz’s selection of objects, which include ceramic tomb figures dating back to 12,500 BCE, Buddhist and Shinto sculpture, objects related to the tea ceremony, paintings from the Edo period, and contemporary ceramics and prints.
As an educator, I am most excited about the fact that the new galleries are spacious enough to accommodate groups with gallery stools! This means that docents can return to objects that are perennial favorites with kids and adults alike such as Shukongo-jin, the Thunderbolt God.
The new installation weaves together traditional and contemporary art in very interesting ways, and the inclusion of twentieth- and twenty-first-century works throughout the galleries makes a clear statement that Japanese art is a living tradition that is still unfolding. I especially like the special exhibition of contemporary Japanese prints, The Jack D. Beem Collection: Emerging Japanese Print Artists of the 1960s, 70s, and Beyond, on view within the Japanese art galleries through January 9.
On your next trip to the museum look out for more gallery re-openings coming soon. On deck are new textiles galleries in November, followed by new galleries for African and and Indian Art of the Americas in February.
13 hours 13 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Our latest exhibition in the Modern Wing represents the last decade of the artist’s work in video. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
See Rodney McMillian: a great society on view in the Modern Wing through March 26.
15 hours 35 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room
$10 per member
Grab your yoga mat and come dressed to stretch. Only members get this unique opportunity to do yoga in the museum. All experience levels are welcome.
Please bring your own mat. Enter at the Columbus Drive Entrance, 230 S. Columbus Drive.
17 hours 2 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Natural Allusions
For Chinese painters, images of plants and animals could convey human aspirations, seasonal themes, or wishes for well-being and good fortune. This focused exhibition features 17th- and 18th-century handscrolls reflecting a variety of artistic traditions as well as a selection of round, handled fans made for wealthy and fashionable men and women of 19th-century Shanghai.