Painting / Photography / Visual Arts

A Wealthy Patron Comes Knocking, and Chicago Says Yes

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Andy Warhol, “Liz #3,” 1963

My hometown museum has just made a major coup! Local couple Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson donated nearly $500 million of art from their private collection to The Art Institute of Chicago. Their donated Andy Warhol pop art, including “Liz” and “Self-Portrait,” will complement the museum’s existing collection of Warhol silkscreens (flowers, Jackie Kennedy, Mao, Marilyn Monroe) — all of which I love. Especially the Marilyns.

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Jasper Johns, “Alphabet,” 1959

Their donated Jasper Johns paintings, including the splashy one above, will be a great addition to the Art Institute’s 100+ pieces by that American artist.

The Chicago Tribune said the 42 new pieces will on display in the Art Institute’s Modern Wing starting January 2016. The donors stipulated they be shown for 50 years straight. How smart of the philanthropists — to insist the artwork be out on exhibit, for all to see, rather than stuck in storage or in rotation.

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Roy Lichtenstein, “Artist’s Studio Foot Medication,” 1974

And how can you not love Roy Lichtenstein? The Art Institute had a Lichtenstein retrospective exhibit in 2012, but only one-third of those pieces were owned by the museum. So the artist’s works — including the one above — will be a welcome addition, I think.

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Takashi Murakami, “Reversed Double Helix”

The donated art includes fabulous paintings by Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Cy Twombly. Don’t you love the one above?

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Cindy Sherman, “Untitled #92,” 1981

Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman photographs (the museum currently has only a dozen by each) are part of the donated collection as well.

I can’t wait to see it all!

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