A gigantic new art piece has been unveiled in Downtown Chicago and it’s sure to become an iconic part of the city.
There’s a good chance that, like many of us, you’ve not made it into the Loop for quite a while and it’s likely, therefore, that you’ve missed crews installing the new prismatic mosaic wall at the foot of Willis Tower.
The expansive installation by artist Olafur Eliasson was officially unveiled just under two weeks ago on January 12 and was recently posted on the Danish-Icelandic artist’s website and social media channels on Friday. The 30-foot by 60-foot piece is made up of 1,963 metal tiles and now glistens near the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Wacker Drive.
‘Atmospheric wave wall’, 2020, permanent installation on the exterior of Willis Tower, Chicago (photos: Darris Lee Harris) pic.twitter.com/lwwXSTVIsM
— StudioOlafurEliasson (@olafureliasson) January 22, 2021
In a release, Eliasson explained that it was inspired by the unpredictable weather he witnessed stirring up the surface of Lake Michigan. In his Instagram post posted on Friday, he delved further into the meaning behind the magical new masterpiece and wrote that the curvature and blue, deep green, and white tones of the tiles are said to be “redolent of the surfaces of nearby Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.”
In his post, he refers to it as the ‘Atmospheric wave wall’ and says the piece is based around motion and was planned especially for Willis Tower. “The dynamic pattern on the wall is activated by the motion of people walking, driving, or biking past; by the motion of the earth in relation to the sun as light moves across it; and by changes in the season and weather.”
According to Elisson, a dramatically different experience can be had at different times of the day and at various different positions of view. “Seen from certain angles, the pattern reveals a vortex that seems to twist and accelerate in response to viewers’ movements. The enameled steel gently catches the light of the sun; the concave surfaces collect shadows that shift as the day progresses.”
Wednesday's news is out with features on Olafur Eliasson’s wave installation in Chicago, Rael San Fratello’s seesaws at the U.S.-Mexico border winning the Beazley Design of the Year, and these playful hybrids by Debra Broz. Read & subscribe: https://t.co/qpHxHm6MFz pic.twitter.com/SxuXznjGAK
— Colossal (@Colossal) January 20, 2021
The new art piece is located next to the entrance to Catalog, Willis Tower’s five-story dining, retail, and entertainment space located at the base of Willis Tower. There’s no doubt that the Atmospheric wave wall will become one of Chicago’s most Instagrammable and high photographed spots in years to come.
Last week, international artist @olafureliasson and EQ Office unveiled a new public art installation in Chicago that is sure to become the Windy City's most popular selfie backdrop. Titled "Atmospheric wave wall," the piece is made up of powder-coated steel fragments. pic.twitter.com/9K2qlIaBKv
— Modern In Denver (@modernindenver) January 22, 2021
[Featured Image from Olafureliasson.net]