joy magnetism: Flying carpet ride

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Flying carpet ride

Magnet #675 - The Modern Wing

I picked this up in Chicago - love when I can get image magnets of the actual museum. Of course, it's cool when the building's so darn cool to merit a magnet, I guess.

If ever you're hanging out in Chicago with a spare few hours, definitely go see the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. It's one of the biggest museum projects in years, and likely to be one of the last on this grand of a scale for a while.

Go for the art, but go for the building, too, which was designed by famed museum architect Renzo Piano.

Remember how I was talking about artists' visual vocabulary? To my untrained eye, I think that it's the same thing with architects. As I learn more about each architect, I'm starting to recognize the telltale hallmarks of their respective work.

For example, I visited the Morgan Library for the first time a few weeks ago and just by looking at around, I totally knew who did the addition before I even Googled it. It probably has more to do with the fact that I'd been watching the progress on the Modern Wing for months before it opened, and also, because Piano's designed several buildings that I've both seen and visited recently, including the Morgan and the relatively new New York Times Building, both buildings with a lot of glass and steel.

Rather than solid, closed exterior walls, his work seems to always have this slatted look of steel and glass - allowing for as much light through as possible, making the interior space seem brighter and bigger, lighter and airy. That slatted look extends to his ceilings - where they create this sort of flying-carpet kind of canopy above.

Though the existing museum space, was no slouch, The Modern Wing was no exception - I loved it, from the main hall, to the staircases, to the overlooks, and terrific interiors. A fantastic space - and well befitting all the supercool artwork they're exhibiting.
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