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Flamingo Sculpture, Chicago

(140+ reviews on the web)
Monument
Flamingo, created by noted American artist Alexander Calder, is a 53ft tall stabile located in the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was commissioned by the United States General Services Administration and was unveiled in 1974, although Calder's signature on the sculpture indicates it was constructed in 1973.AttributesFlamingo weighs 50 tons, is composed of steel, and is vermilion in color. Calder gave the stabile its color, which has come to be called "Calder red", to offset it from the black and steel surroundings of nearby office buildings, including the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed Kluczynski Federal Building. The stabile is an art form which Calder pioneered. It is an abstract structure that is completely stationary, as opposed to a mobile, which can move with air currents. In 2012, the sculpture was repainted using the historic "Calder Red" color.Commissioning and unveilingCalder was commissioned to design the sculpture because of his well-established international reputation; the space, surrounded by rectangular modern buildings, necessitated the kind of arching forms and dynamic surfaces that a large-scale Calder stabile could provide. Flamingo was the first work of art commissioned by the General Services Administration under the federal Percent for Art program, which allocates a percentage of a project's budget to public art. Calder unveiled the model for Flamingo on April 23, 1973 at the Art Institute of Chicago; the sculpture was presented to the public for the first time on October 25, 1974, at the same time that Calder's Universe mobile was unveiled at what was then known as the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower). The day was proclaimed "Alexander Calder Day" and featured a circus parade.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • one of the nicest things about Chicago is the public art. The plazas break up the hustle and bustle of the city. Come here for the Farmer's Market on Tuesdays  more »
  • i do not want to hurt the feelings of the person that built this but it is not any thing i like i do not think some one would want to show that and call it a work of art if it looked more like a flami...  more »
  • The Flamingo is a wonderful sculpture to behold. Like many other people, I usually connect Calder with his fascinating mobiles seen in books and museums This large sculpture allows us to experience th...  more »