In Chicago, Google buys a building and drives out a monumental statue of Dubuffet

The company moves into the Thompson Center, the building in front of which has stood since 1984 Monument to the Standing Beastten-tonne sculpture created by the great name of French art brut.

Jean Dubuffet sum of baggage clip… His sculpture Monument to the Standing Beast, created in 1984 to sit enthroned on the forecourt of the Thompson Center in the Loop business district in Chicago, will be dislodged. In question ? The takeover by Google of the building designed by architect Helmut Jahn, as told by The Art Newspaper.

The ten-ton work specified nearly nine meters tall was installed outside the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago even before the postmodern building was completed in 1985. It was in 1984 that art collector Ruth Horwich and co-founder of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, donated the towering fiberglass sculpture in honor of her late husband Leonard. The sculpture will soon be relocated a few blocks in front of a former bank building that the State of Illinois recently purchased to replace the offices of the Thompson Center.

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Monument with Standing Beast is perhaps the best known of the three large-scale public sculptures that the French avant-garde artist installed in the United States (the other two are in New York and Houston). Made up of four forms representing an animal, a tree, an architectural form and a portal, it belongs to the cycle of L’Hourloupe, series of works initiated in the 1960s composed of paintings, drawings, sculptures, architectures or imaginary constructions. the Group of four trees according to the Chase Manhattan Plaza, New York dates from the same period.

Group of four trees, monumental work by Jean Dubuffet transposed to New York. Artedia Collection / Bridgeman Images

The date of the move from Monument with Standing Beast on a less prestigious site has not yet been specified. But already, this exile blesses art lovers, like Rolf Achilles, professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “The Dubuffet deserves better than to stand in the shade”, he lamented to the Chicago Sun-Times. More philosophical, other neighbors interviewed by the daily simply consider themselves happy that the monument has been able to find a place in the city.


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