An Afternoon Excursion

On a welcoming blue sky day, I argue there is no prettier city than Chicago.  It was incredible today, walking down Michigan Ave today after meetings, headed to the Art Institute.  Vats overflowing with fresh flowers, autumn ready gardens, throngs of tourists and locals, segway tours, cameras pointed up-down-around.

The destination was the photography exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson.  Incredible, iconic, historian, traveller, this Frenchman showed the world everyday life in countries around the world: Ghandi’s funeral, behind the Iron Curtain, New York, Paris, Italy, Indonesia, Shaghai, any traveller’s dream and his sometimes nightmare.  His hand-held camera captured the sexy body parts, the horrors and reality of war, the poignant portraits,  the beautiful-the plain-the bosses-the servants-the workers-the drinkers-the watchers-the forgotten.

It was an incredible show.  If it comes your way, plan to spend at least an hour learning, laughing, loathing. his appreciation for the frame, the math, the juxtaposition of lives, the darkness, the light, you will remember it.

My sister and I also took our first walk into the newer modern wing of the Art Institute.  Jaw-dropping architecture showing off our wonderful skyline, a plethora of natural light so reminiscent of the Musee O’rsay in Paris (a former train station), the incredible colors popped from the canvases.  Other than guards, we were the only visitors in several galleries–so quiet, so vibrant, so inspiring.  Wow, we kept saying.

light and space in the modern wing

I don’t understand all the modern art–some seem so simple, so juvenile–but I reveled in much of it.  I recognized many of the works from their old locations in the Museum, but seeing them all together was breathtaking.  Picasso, Matisse, Klee (one of my favorites), Magritte, Pollock, so many others.  One room had fascinating architectural drawings, even a sampling of modern-designed fabrics–perfect for my home.

mini Picasso sculpture with the real Skyline in the modern wing

Too many times an art exhibit comes to this breathtaking city, a musical I want to see, a new restaurant and my schedule is too busy to fit it in, or it escapes my mind until too late.  Today reminded me to take a break, to explore what is offered.  It is worth the afternoon.  The inspiration is worth it.  And the escape.  C


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