Saturday, April 18, 2009

From Longer Days, Better Art: Huffington Post

Richard Hunt has spent a lifetime and a career making art in Chicago. Next month he receives the lifetime achievement award from the International Sculpture Center, doing Magdalena Abakanowicz, Louise Bourgeois, Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg and about a dozen others who have been so honored. He was the first African-American artist to have a major solo exhibition at MoMA (in 1971), yet in Chicago he's been a mostly overlooked talent, despite his art being highly visible from Midway Airport to Jonquil Park. Chicago's treated Richard more as a token than a talent. That's wrong and unfortunate. The work in the exhibit at David Weinberg shows the accomplishments of an artist in his 70's who can readily make metal bend at will. The predominantly bronze art -- welded, not made from molds -- soars with pride, confidence and determination. There's a powerful story here and a universal truth, a spirit that will not be contained. It's nice to see the work well presented. I left educated, impressed and a bit sad that I, for one, hadn't opened my eyes a helluva lot earlier. Richard Hunt is damned good.

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