The Modern Wing: Renzo Piano and The Art Institute of Chicago

Overview

This handsome book examines the remarkable new addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano and scheduled to open in May 2009. This expansion to the Art Institute of Chicago, already one of the largest museums in the country, will provide new galleries for modern and contemporary painting and sculpture, as well as for photography, film and video, and architecture and design. The structure is Piano’s largest art museum building to date.

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Overview

This handsome book examines the remarkable new addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano and scheduled to open in May 2009. This expansion to the Art Institute of Chicago, already one of the largest museums in the country, will provide new galleries for modern and contemporary painting and sculpture, as well as for photography, film and video, and architecture and design. The structure is Piano’s largest art museum building to date.

The museum’s director, James Cuno, discusses the history of the commission, and Paul Goldberger writes on how this building fits into the larger context of Piano's work—especially his many museum designs—as well as considers its positioning in a city celebrated for its architecture. Judith Turner provides exquisite architectural photographs, showing many nuanced details and views of the structure, while Joseph Rosa comments on her images and how they convey the beauty and sophistication of the building. Photographs by New York-based architectural photographer Paul Warchol complete the book

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Like most major American art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago has undertaken ambitious building programs over the past century, but because of an especially challenging site spanning the tracks of the Illinois Central Railroad, its series of expansions often lacked unity. Additions by Walter Netsch and Thomas Beebe added much-needed space for the school and galleries, but neither found an architectural voice consonant with Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge's Renaissance revival building of 1893. With the renovation and expansion of the Morgan Library and Museum to his credit, Renzo Piano was the clear choice for this latest addition to the Institute. His cool, structurally expressive, and finely tuned architecture will not surprise those who know the Morgan or the New York Times building. The book traces in great detail the history of the project and the lengthy developmental process of the design, and numerous high-quality color photographs document the construction process. Regrettably, there is not a clear, comprehensive site plan, an unfortunate omission considering the critical nature of the selection of the northeast corner of the property for the new wing, and the remaining plans are overly schematic, although the sections are informative. VERDICT Totaling less than the sum of its parts, this volume will only appeal to professionals and belongs in large architecture collections.—Paul Glassman, Felician Coll. Lib., Lodi, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300141122
  • Publisher: Art Institute of Chicago
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Cuno is President and Eloise W. Martin Director, The Art Institute of Chicago. Paul Goldberger is architectural critic for The New Yorker. Joseph Rosa is the John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, The Art Institute of Chicago. Judith Turner is a photographer based in New York City well known for her images of architecture.

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