Andy Warhol, Liz #3 (Early Colored Liz), 1963. Part of a series of thirteen.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: as part of my 47th birthday celebration, my wife Anne and I drove from Indianapolis up to the Art Institute of Chicago and spent four hours roaming and observing and contemplating and feeling. We barely saw half the museum and will have to return someday for more.
I didn’t mean for this series to run so many chapters, but that’s a tribute to how overwhelming their collection of collections is. Until and unless we can schedule an encore visit, for now we conclude with yet another selection of works from the galleries we’ve already covered, some of whose chapters could’ve been twice as long if I hadn’t arbitrarily saved some of the best (and the rest) for last.
Thomas Cole, Distant View of Niagara Falls, 1830. In the making of this landscape, the Hudson River School mainstay realized what we later learned in 2004: Niagara looks 5000 times more beautiful in person than it does in any photo ever.
Charles Gifford Dyer, Seventeenth-Century Interior, 1877. A native of Chicago just talented and wealthy enough to paint a still life of his own overseas travel souvenirs.
George Wesley Bellows, The Palisades, 1909. The only artist on display hailing from Ohio.
James McNeill Whistler, Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach, 1863. While many artists are in love with natural landscapes, Whistler tended to specialize in urban river life.
Whistler again, The Artist in His Studio, 1865-66. Taking a break from waterways with a Japanese woodblock vibe.
Whistler one more time:, Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Southampton Water, 1872. Back to the riverfront.
Thackara, Buck & Co., a gasolier;circa 1880. Not hooked up, of course.
Diego Rivera, Portrait of Marevna, ca. 1915. Transitioning from muralist to Cubist using his own mistress as his subject.
Gerhard Richter, Townscape (P1), 1968. One of four dozen cityscapes he rendered using extensive photo reference, this one took countless minutes to convert an image to grayscale, which today’s photo-editing programs can do in seconds.
Willem de Kooning, Interchanged, 1955. On loan from its owner, a hedge fund billionaire who bought it from record exec David Geffen in 2015 for $300 million. The Pollock painting at the end of Chapter 6 is also his, a relative bargain at $200 million.
Another de Kooning from 1948-1949, untitled and presumably more affordable.
Charles Ray, Boy, 1992. Not to be confused with another, more well-known work of his called Boy with Frog, this one is relatively amphibian-less.
We previously shared one of Martha Rosler’s pieces from her 10-part photo-mash-up series House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home. Here’s another, differently unsettling.
More Rosler, more remixing, more revulsion.
Jackson Pollock, Greyed Rainbow, 1953. The rainbow has colors, but they’re all Easter eggs.
Roy Lichtenstein, Ohhh…Alright…, 1964. Based on a panel from Secret Hearts #88, June 1963, whose contributing artists included John Romita, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs.
Lichtenstein again. Artist’s Studio: “Foot Medication”, 1974. Based on Matisse’s 1911 work The Red Studio. The upper-left image is based on Lichtenstein’s own 1962 piece Foot Medication. Hence the title-within-a-title for the art-within-art.
One last Lichtenstein for the road: Woman III, 1982. Painted after his detour from Pop Art into Abstract Expressionism, and yet based on the works of de Kooning.
Bookending the chapter with one more Andy Warhol — 1964’s memorable Twelve Jackies, using a photo taken at her husband’s funeral.
…thus concludes our AIC experience for the time being. Lord willing, one day we’ll return, wander some of those other rooms, and hopefully not get lost. Thanks for following along.
Other chapters in this very special MCC maxiseries:
Gallery 1: The Grounds Alone
Gallery 2: The Old Modern Americans
Gallery 3: Georgia on Her Mind
Gallery 4: Two Americans Abroad
Gallery 5: Ye Olde Tyme America
Gallery 6: Very Contemporary
Gallery 7: Monet Growing on Trees
Gallery 8: Posting Post-Impressionist Impressions
Gallery 9: Picasso and the Surreal
Gallery 10: The Last of the Famous International
Gallery 11: Caveat Sculptor
Patrons interested in bringing home some of the museum’s more famous paintings will find them replicated in multiple formats in the two gift shops. See all the beloved classics turned into modern Pop Art!