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2009 in museums defined by Modern Wing

December 31, 2009

A view from Millennium Park

A view of the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, as seen from across the street in Millennium Park. (Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / April 30, 2009)

This was the year in which the 800-pound gorilla lurking in the Art Institute’s budget finally introduced itself, after a decade of speculation. Yes, 2009 was the year of the Modern Wing (111S. Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600;, which opened its glass doors in May with a gorgeous exhibit of new paintings (and a few sculptures) by seminal American artist Cy Twombly. Hung in the sparkling new Abbott Galleries, Twombly’s more than 30 works — all produced since 2000 — shone through the transparent windows of Griffin Court (aka the new wing’s “main street”) as if to announce to passers-by, “This is the new modern.” And we embraced it in droves.

Meanwhile, the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660; kept a relatively low profile. After closing last winter’s fantastic Jenny Holzerexhibit, there wasn’t a whole lot on the agenda. There was May’s “Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson,” the San FranciscoMuseum of Modern Art-organized exhibit of the Scandinavian installation artist; and then not much.

But there have been plenty of distractions.

Read more at: 2009 in museums defined by Modern Wing

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