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Paul Klein Headshot

Big Art

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I love watching art being installed -- and sculpture in particular. (I never understood why museums and galleries shut their spaces from public view and post "closed for installation" signs. Sure, cordon of the space to protect the art and the people, but let's let the public see what's going on. It makes art even more exciting.

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The brilliant sculptor, Nancy Rubins, is in town from L.A. installing her mind-boggling, gravity defying, big sculpture on the front lawn of Navy Pier, comprised out of something in the neighborhood of 30 discarded canoes.

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Every canoe is placed to play off the other canoes, and the environment, space and cityscape. This isn't the kind of art that an artist can have installed in absentia. Important decisions are made every moment to get the art the way Rubins wants it, so that when we look at it we just marvel at the impossibility.

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Joesph Tabet is the producer of Big Art @ Navy Pier, a wonderful free exhibit of, just that, Big Art. He deserves our thanks for the vision of bringing Nancy Rubins' sculpture to town where it plays off of and romps with a large Roy Lichenstein sculpture of paint brushes and a bright, orange, yet somber, elegant sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro.

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The Caro and the Lichtenstein have been in place for a number of weeks, but now is an opportune time to go watch canoes being levitated and to then return to see how Rubins' piece looks completed.

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More large scale art will be added during the coming weeks, constituting more opportunities to see and understand how artists work and compose their pieces, as well as the order and and installation logistics necessary to pull off the magic.

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Synergies abound.The Lichtenstein at Navy Pier complements the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute. The entirety of large-scale Navy Pier art resonates with Jessica Stockholder's Color Jam triumph in the Loop at State & Adams. This summer is a particularly good time for art in Chicago.

I'm going back out.

Thank you,
Paul Klein