peteg's blog - noise - 2015 02 01 CCC RichardHunt

Richard Hunt at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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As forecast, it is snowing like crazy today. I decided to test how bad it was with a 40+ minute schlep down to the Intelligentsia on Randolph, across the river, next to the Chicago Cultural Center. It was not cold but the salt-induced water pooled in the gutters, under the snow, at the road crossings got pretty annoying. I ended up with wet socks. The snow blasting into my face every so often was pretty slushy. At some points the crunchy snow was 20+ cm deep.

I'm not totally sure why there are so many exhibitions of Richard Hunt's work on right now; they claim he's been at it for 60 years and perhaps that's enough. I half-expected to find half an engine block mixed in with the fenders and exhaust pipes; the times definitely suited him. Is scrap rarer now? He is a master with the gas axe. I enjoyed the studies for some of his public art as they demonstrate ideation and evolution; for instance the MLK-commemorating I Have Been to the Mountain (1977, in Memphis) loses a paddle-steamer wheel and gains steps that lead to a slide. The major part seems in need of an audience, so a minor part takes shape. I'm keen to see the finished product now. Uplift is a major theme in his work.

There were two videos, one featuring Studs Terkel, but I wasn't going to sit around for 90 minutes to see them. I do need to chase that guy up though. Hunt takes all the theory people wave in his face with the good grace of someone who figured out what he wanted to do at an early age, and got really good at it.

The culture center itself has a pleasant hang-out space on the ground floor. I'd been there before in 2012 and not since I moved here. Electricity seems in short supply, but I think they do wifi. I took the Red Line subway back up to Division/Clark and watched a car spin out in front of a fire truck at Clybourn/Division. Too much haste, insufficient care.