The Art Institute of Chicago hosted its press preview this morning for its latest exhibit "Picasso and Chicago." I'm not an art critic, but if you love Chicago and the city's history and haven't been to the Art Institute recently, this is the exhibit for you.
Chicago and the Art Institute have a long and rich history with the Spanish artist. The Art Institute was the first American museum to showcase Picasso's work, part of its historic Armory show a century ago. The museum acquired its most well-known Picasso work, "Old Guitarist," in 1926.
And of course in the center of the city is the Picasso sculpture, the artist's first "monumental sculpture" that was unveiled in 1967. The new exhibit touches on it all, weaving Picasso's life and work in with Chicago civic and art history.
"Picasso and Chicago," the museum's first Picasso exhibit in nearly 30 years, runs from Wednesday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, May 12. A members preview is scheduled for Feb 18 - 19.
On another note, does Stephanie D'Alessandro, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, ever sleep? She curated the 2010 "Matisse: Radical Invention" exhibit and then started work on the Picasso project immediately after. Somewhere in there she oversaw the restoration and move of the museum's Marc Chagall's "America Windows."
D'Alessandro said Thursday her hope is that the exhibit inspires people to imagine the city's art scene and the life of the artist.
"We live every day with a Picasso sculpture in Chicago," she said. "It's so remarkable we have that work."