The path that led Irving Penn to the seemingly galactic abstractions of his late series Underfoot lay just outside his studio door. Walking the streets of Manhattan with a portable stool and a camera fitted with several extension tubes, Penn lowered his eye and his equipment nearly to the pavement. There he found a universe of abject form: pebbled concrete, cheap discarded matches and cigarette butts, and above all a wealth of masticated gum. Capturing patches of this blobby urban landscape at close range, Penn transformed it with characteristic precision into a world of odd beauty, complete unto itself and unplaceably remote. Former Art Institute Director James Wood, with whom Penn had worked closely to establish the vast archive of his photographs and papers held at the museum, visited the studio and later marveled to Penn at how these photographs showed “the cosmos underfoot.” The Irving Penn Foundation has generously offered all 36 photographs from Underfoot as a gift to the Art Institute in Wood’s memory.
Sponsor Major support for photography exhibitions in the Modern Wing is generously provided by Joyce Chelberg.
5 hours 9 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, admired painter and famous patron of the Moulin Rouge.
Thought to be too shocking in its day, the righthand section of At the Moulin Rouge was removed in order to appeal to more traditional tastes and buyers. The cut section was later reattached in 1914. It has since become one of Toulouse-Lautrec's most recognizable images. See it on view in Gallery 242.
7 hours 35 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Delve into the tortured mind of Belgian artist James Ensor with a major exhibition that is revelatory, disturbing, wildly imaginative, and singularly compelling.
Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor—http://bit.ly/1HDn6lY