Great modern art isn’t just bi-coastal. The heart and soul of it might be in the Midwest. Here’s what’s up in three major cities:
Underestimate Pittsburgh at your own peril. The town’s hot, especially its art. The Andy Warhol Museum is more than an artistic aggregation of Campbell Soup Cans. It’s the home of 900 painting, some 100 sculptures, almost 2,000 works on paper, 1,000 prints and 4,000 photographs – not to mention an impressive roster of feature films and videos. The sum total of all this work (Warhol was nothing if not prolific) defines the man and his time about as thoroughly as they can be. Pittsburgh is the perfect place for the collection. Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, and got his first formal training as an artist at the Carnegie Institute.
Pittsburgh and near-by Cleveland are archrivals in art, as well as football. Come this October MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, moves uptown into its startling new digs: a piece of modern art in of itself. This reporter toured the new facility while under construction. The light, the architecture, and the ambiance of the place are unlike any art museum you’ve seen. The finishing touches are just about ready to be put in place on the angular edifice at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road, in the University Circle neighborhood.
Taking a back seat to no one is the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. While the bones of a building are important, the soul of a museum is manifested by its collection, it’s exhibitions. You’ve got just a few more days (till June 3) to see the blockbuster show This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in he 1980s. Travel back to the era dominated by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, the Sony Walkman, MTW, ATM’s and AIDS. It’s also a time that gave us the Iran-Contra controversy, anti-nuclear protests in Central Park and Gordon Gekko. Remember him? Greed may no longer be good, but this show sure is. The museum says it “attempts to make sense of what happened to the visual arts in the United States during this tumultuous period.”
Story by Jerry Chandler