The Open Bridge<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Armin-The-Open-Bridge.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />The Open Bridge<div class="ExternalClassE676024016A944CDA735E9F70CE73D44"><p></p><p>Raised to allow boats with tall masts to pass, the twin arms of a red metal drawbridge suggest the city's welcoming embrace in Emil Armin's buoyant painting The Open Bridge. The nervous energy of densely layered paint strokes animates Chicago's proud skyline, a dense forest of soaring towers sandwiched between an agitated sky and the river's choppy water. Armin's work captures the excitement of urban life and the mood of exuberant optimism that marked the 1920s. It was painted at a turning point in the artist's career: a decade after completing his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, Armin was the subject of several solo exhibitions and of a monograph book.</p><p>Having arrived in Chicago as an impoverished immigrant from Romania at the age of 22, Armin was particularly sensitive both to the city's opportunities and to its modern character. He became a mainstay of local modernist art circles in which freedom of individual expression was the sole doctrine. In his paintings, prints, and carved sculptures, Armin synthesized contemporary artistic trends with inspiration drawn from his Jewish roots and from the peasant traditions of the American Southwest and his native Eastern Europe. Above all, he declared, "the way an artist finds it necessary to live in modern times will automatically assert itself in his work, if he is a true and independent artist."1 One of Armin's several celebratory images of the Chicago waterfront and skyline, The Open Bridge offers his adopted city as an exhilarating icon of modernity.<br></p></div>GP0|#a0aea1c5-2cc4-4b99-a211-2ec2ddc1bd7b;L0|#0a0aea1c5-2cc4-4b99-a211-2ec2ddc1bd7b|Emil Armin;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting Oil;#Painting Oil on Masonite;#Chicago, IllinoisOil on Masonite, 22 × 27 inches, Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum, Gift of Susanna and Matthew Morgenthau in Memory of their Mother, Irma Thormann