Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pae White artwork at Art Institute of Chicago upsets brides

Brides who have booked summer weddings on an outdoor terrace at The Art Institute of Chicago have discovered their coveted view of the city's legendary skyline and the greenery of Millennium Park will be blocked by a new artwork by Pae White called 'Restless Rainbow'.

The artwork draws on Pae's interest in and knowledge of graphic design, textiles and animation to wrap the terrace in a vibrantly colored, energetic abstracted rainbow. It is the result of the artist wondering 'what would happen if a rainbow became disorganized (sic) - would it fall from the sky? What if a rainbow misbehaved, causing its color (sic) spectrum to take on new order? Would it include black, as rainbows in comic books often do?' 

The Art Institute of Chicago say, 'the artwork inverts the tradition of looking out from the terrace, and instead invites visitors to enjoy it as an immersive space.'

One of the brides, Gabrielle Berger told the Chicago Tribune, "I knew what risks we were taking in booking the space, but what they've selected to display in the space during wedding season is absurd." Renting the terrace costs $5,000, and it's $10,000 for the entire third floor, including the Terzo Piano restaurant, according to Art Institute spokeswoman Erin Hogan.

The artwork, which opened to the public on Saturday 21st May, consists of colorful vinyl strips that wrap around the terrace's glass panels and sweep across the floor. The panels on the north end of the terrace, which overlooks over Millennium Park, are 18 feet tall.

Hogan said that once White's plans for the terrace were finalized in March, the museum informed those who booked summer weddings and other events. She said the museum is looking for ways to address the concerns of wedding parties that have expressed concerns over how White's art will affect their celebrations. "At the same time, we are an art museum committed to bringing contemporary art — and art of all periods and places — to our visitors," Hogan said. To appease unhappy couples, the Art Institute has been coming up with alternatives, including full access to Nichols Bridgeway, which connects the modern wing to Millennium Park.

Anna Gonis reserved the terrace to serve cocktails for her wedding party on June 25. She has persuaded 10 other couples to join her in a formal complaint to museum officials.

White visited the exhibit on Tuesday, as it was still being installed. She said she had just learned about the unhappiness of some future brides who planned to use the site. "It is just news to me, so I am just kind of processing it," said the artist. "My intention was not to be disruptive."

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