Richard Hunt has been Chicago's premier public sculptor since the days of Albin Polasek - and maybe even back to Laredo Taft.
The piece I see most often is "We Will", pictured above, located on Randolph St., just outside the Cultural Center. And I hate it. It exemplifies urban clutter.
But last month, I found this on display at the Smart Museum, and really liked it - as a defiant, joyful self expression - asserting something like "Here comes a creative person"
It was done about 50 years earlier - and fits a coffee table instead of a city street.
And I've had Richard Hunt on my mind ever since I saw him in a video paying tribute to one of his teachers at the Art Institute, Egon Weiner, who had an exhibit earlier this year.
It does appear that Weiner's flame-like sense of form has lived on in the work of his student
But still -- I wasn't really expecting the incredible proliferation of ecstatic shapes that are now found in the retrospective at the Cultural Center.
A few things might be said about these works:
*they are figurative in gesture, if not anatomical detail
*they are brash and assertive - but also feel vulnerable
*they are each a "song of myself" - like a virtuosic, extended solo in dance or music.