Where’s Wallace – Art Institute Chicago Pt. 1

Lichtenstein exhibition

My latest concierge visit was to the Art Institute of Chicago for the opening of their newest exhibition, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. I’d seen these paintings before a lot but I never realized it! You probably have too.

Lichtenstein’s work takes its inspiration from popular culture and mass media during Lichtenstein’s life (1923-1997) and so they tend to look familiar. If you notice the perfectly spaced dots and bright primary colors in a comic type painting, it’s probably done by Lichtenstein.

As we walked into the exhibition I got one of the audio tours, which I highly recommend! If you’re like me and have never studied art, this makes the difference between just seeing an interesting picture and actually understanding something about the painting and the thought process behind it – something the Art Institute’s aids and staff explain extremely well.

The Lichtenstein exhibition is something you won’t find anywhere else in the world! And the art is all familiar, even if you’ve never seen it before. Lichtenstein has a very stylized way of painting and uses common themes like “Men at War” and “Love” for most of his well-known paintings.

But apart from that, it’s Pop Art, and therefore recognizable. The dots look like what a machine would produce (and apparently, that’s the point) and the paintings give you snapshots of the culture at the time of the 1960s.

I loved walking through this exhibit even though I’m not an artist and am not familiar with a lot of the art. But the Lichtenstein exhibit was so easy to understand for me! The paintings didn’t feel strange at all – it was the opposite. They felt familiar and I was drawn to them in a way that is unusual for me. (See all the photos from my visit on Our Flickr Page.)

You’ll love the bright colors, the recognizable scenes in the paintings, and the audio guide makes understanding the art so much easier! Just plug in the number of the painting you’re looking at and the audio guide starts playing with information on the painting, the meaning behind it, and even recordings of Lichtenstein himself to add depth to your understanding.

Overall, the exhibit is fascinating, and I walked away with a lot of fun pictures of the art (though certain paintings are marked with “no photo” so be sure to check first).

After viewing the exhibition, head to Caffé Moderno for a quick bite. You can also grab something at the Museum Café. Or dine at Terzo Piano, the museum’s upscale restaurant with a selection of Italian dishes made from organic, locally grown ingredients.

Come see this limited-time exhibition now and book your stay with BEST WESTERN PLUS River North, the only downtown hotel with FREE Parking!


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