Monday, June 27, 2022

Postcard: Chicago Surprise

A postcard from my recent trip to University of Chicago, in Illinois.

Day One: An eyebrow raising 'cat' encounter.

Upon a walking tour of campus, we stumbled across this wondrous artwork.
Artist: François-Xavier Lalanne

Title: Grand Chat Polymorph (1968/2008)

Location: David Rubenstein Forum, University of Chicago

Placard: Written by Jimin Kim, BA in Art History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, 2022 in collaboration with Roko Rumora, PhD Candidate Department of Art History

“What if we place a giant unknown living creature in a domestic space?”

"In 1968, French sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne turned this question into reality, presenting this immense sculpture as a functional object for lounge spaces. While the work appears as a massive cat at an initial glance, a closer look reveals that it is in fact an amalgamation of the body of a cat with the tail of a fish, the wings of a bird, and the hooves of a bull. Suggested by the word polymorphe in its title, a derivative term of polymorphism, the work visualizes an imaginative organism occurring in multiple forms. Inspired by the fantastical polymorphic creatures from the Ancient Near Eastern mythology the artist engaged with as an at the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries of the Louvre, Lalanne gave life to this imaginative creature, turning his own imagination into a tangible form..."

Art is meant to evoke a reaction in the mind of the viewer.

What do you think of when you see this sculpture?

10 comments:

Fr. Tom Fishworthy said...

We like this. Didn't notice the tailfin or the hooves at first since we were thinking it needed a cushion inside it for a good snooze!

Gidget Blue Sky said...

i cood git in there, lay down an fly away!!!!!

Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty said...

Looks a bit freaky. Cats are purrfect as they are!

Katie Isabella said...

KInda have to go with Athena. But Gidget too.

Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

That is a totally awesome sculpture! We initially thought it was from some exotic central Asian country!

Purrs,
The Chans

Mickey's Musings said...

Oooooooooooooooooooooo! That is so cool!!!!!
I would like to get inside nd try it out!
Purrs, Julie

Ruby Rose and the Big Little Angels 3 said...

A hungry cat?

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I didn't notice the tail fin. I would prefer it used for storage with the "wings" down.

John Bellen said...

I think it was the Greeks' first idea. Then came the Trojan Horse...

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs said...

My catness, that sure made me look twice!!