Chicago, 1928<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Weisenborn-Chicago-lg.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Chicago, 1928<div class="ExternalClass95C1B5ABCD29456CBC99DB6EFB0A455E"><p>​Angular and curving forms, rendered in smoothly shaded planes and strong color, comprise Rudolph Weisenborn's monumental <em>Chicago</em>. Without showing the city objectively, it suggests the powerful physical presence of a metropolis famed for its modern architecture, industrial might, and economic vitality. The painting associates the artist's hometown with the optimism of the 1920s, an era that celebrated modernity and the promise of new technologies and urban living. The artist described it as "an interpretation of the spirit of Chicago . . . It doesn't represent anything pictorially. To me the painting is interesting as a construction almost any way I hang it."</p><p>Weisenborn spent his peripatetic youth as a miner and cow-puncher in the West before studying art in Denver, Colorado. Returning to his native Chicago in time for the Armory Show of 1913, he soon became a leader among the city's avant-garde artists and an organizer of such anti-establishment groups as the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists. Passionate, combative, and uncompromising, Weisenborn dedicated himself to bringing modern art to his hometown. He was a pioneer in abstract painting in Chicago as both an artist and an educator. In the 1920s, when many of Chicago's artists embraced modernism, Weisenborn was virtually alone in his experiments in abstract composition, but he also created representational images. Weisenborn made drawings and prints as well as paintings; among his mural paintings are several he completed for the WPA's Illinois Art Project, a Depression-era artists' relief program. </p><p><em>Chicago </em>demonstrates Weisenborn's goal of making each canvas "a vital organization instead of a static composition." When exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago's annual exhibition of American art in 1928, it generated considerable attention as the first non-objective work ever exhibited by a Chicagoan.</p></div>GP0|#0f376f7d-4f57-4efd-b23a-3e07fceef255;L0|#00f376f7d-4f57-4efd-b23a-3e07fceef255|Rudolph Weisenborn;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Painting Oil;#Painting Oil on Canvas;#Chicago, IllinoisOil on canvas, 48 × 80 inches Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum, Gift of Gordon and West Weisenborn