Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined River Point partners Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines and Levy Family Partners to announce selection of Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, Santiago Calatrava, to create a unique and vibrant sculpture to be installed in the park at River Point. Fabrication of the artwork is expected to take approximately 14 months, with installation at the site anticipated for summer 2019. Michele Quinn Fine Art advised the ownership group throughout the selection process.
“Chicago is a city of both outstanding architecture and world-renowned public art,” Mayor Emanuel said. “It is a testament to the new vitality of Chicago’s riverfront that one of the world’s foremost architects and artists chose the banks of the Chicago River for his latest work.”
“The partners of River Point hope Chicagoans will fall in love with the inspired Santiago Calatrava sculpture as they have with Chicago’s Picasso, Kapoor, Chagall, Miro, Plensa, Calder and so many more,” Larry Levy said.
Calatrava’s intention in his sculptures has been for them to simply grow from the ground. Within each figure, an internal logic of autonomy delivers lyrical forms and implies a sense of elevation and spiritual uplifting. During his process, he builds basswood models to evaluate the aesthetic and structural characteristics of each work before moving to full-scale metal sculptures.
The piece to be installed at River Point, S25 (working title) will stand at 29’ in height and width, and twists in an outward reaching spiral constructed of overlapping leaflike elements descending in scale from very large at the sculpture’s base to very small at the outer reach of the sculpture’s spiral form. When approached from any angle, the massive layered spiral reveals stunning architectural depth, overhand and movement.
New art and recreation along the Chicago River is a major component of the Mayor’s Building on Burnham plan. The Mayor announced the comprehensive plan earlier this year, which will invest in the Lakefront, the Chicago River, natural areas and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods across the city. This plan follows the Mayor’s successful expansion of Chicago’s park system in his first mayoral term, which has already added 750 acres of new parkland, 256 new playgrounds and more than $800 million in capital investment from neighborhoods and private sources.
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