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1. Bison, 1909, (Edward Kemeys) Humboldt Park
Alan Artner:The lions flanking the stairs to the Art Institute of Chicago are some of the most famous animal sculptures in North America; much less known is this pair of bison from the same period that overlooks an arbor and intimate garden.
2. Entrance sculpture, 1916, (Alfonso Iannelli) Kenna Apartments, 2214 E. 69th St.
Artner: Iannelli's diverse career generated public sculptures for Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens as well as the image of the rock on the Prudential Building; the early figurative piece here is warmly, touchingly domestic.
3. Theodore Thomas Memorial (The Spirit of Music), 1923,
(Albin Polasek) Grant Park, Michigan Avenue at Balbo Drive.
Artner: This goddess originally struck her lyre directly across from Orchestra Hall, theoretically within earshot of the Chicago Symphony, the ensemble Thomas founded and conducted.
4. Clarence, 1927,(Marcel Francois Loyau) Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway.
Artner: The four great sea horses symbolize the states that border on Lake Michigan in a fountain twice the size as the one it was modeled after in the gardens of Versailles.
5. Figures, reliefs, urn for Louis Hippach Family Chapel, 1928, (Richard Bock) Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery, Villa Park.
Artner: Serene funerary art by a longtime collaborator with Frank Lloyd Wright; a re-creation of a famous fountain they allegedly created together is in Oak Park's Scoville Park.
6. Radiant One, 1957, (Richard Lippold) Lobby of 30 W. Monroe St.
Artner: The earliest successful abstract sculpture on permanent display in the Loop uses metal rods and wires to create a shimmering play of light (enhanced by a reflecting pool) that now seems to embody the futuristic aspirations of the Space Age.
7. Two Forms (Divided Circle), 1969, (Barbara Hepworth) Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum Sculpture Garden, Evanston.
Artner: The masterful British artist created a number of her sculptures in wood, stone and bronze to be seen in her own garden at St. Ives, Cornwall. The monumental cast bronze piece and its display here bring us close to her ideas about abstract art in the natural environment.
8. Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Founding of the Republic, 1976, (Isamu Noguchi) Columbus Drive between Monroe and Jackson Drives.
Artner: Noguchi's Bicentennial fountain is in fact a celebration of aspects of the natural landscape. Using 3-million-year-old granite from Minnesota, the artist evoked both a tree and spring through a folded upright slab and split reclining column.
9. Batcolumn, 1977, (Claes Oldenburg) 600 W. Madison St.
Artner: The only one of Oldenburg's sculptures of everyday objects to be created in open-work form, this piece of painted Cor-Ten steel wryly gives the American obsession with sports the same status as an ancient obelisk or imperial column.
10. I Will, 1981, (Ellsworth Kelly) Lincoln Park, Lake Shore and Fullerton Drives.
Artner: The surface of the artist's minimal column of stainless steel reflects flickers of light at the farthest point north of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire; the form relates to the skyscrapers that came after.
11. Neon for the 14th District Police Station, 1984, (Stephen Antonakos) 2150 N. California Ave.
Artner: Many pieces of public sculpture can change sites with little damage to their artistic integrity. Not this one. It is site-specific, conceived and executed for only one place, on the city's Northwest Side, in a facility for a neighborhood not expecting its (at the time) daring use of neon.
12. Chicago Fugue, 1987, (Anthony Caro) Lobby of 190 S. LaSalle St.
Artner: An evocation of music very different from Polasek's Thomas Memorial; this one, by Britain's leading living abstract sculptor, communicates not the general spirit of music but something of one of its oldest constructions involving themes sounded in several parts or voices.
13. Reading Cones, 1988, (Richard Serra) Grant Park, Monroe Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drives.
Artner: The greatest living sculptor in the United States contributes two arcs of steel perfectly conceived in relation to the human body and cannily set in a blunt, dramatic relationship with land and sky.
14. Eagle Columns, 1989, (Richard Hunt) Jonquil Park, 1023 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Artner: More than 50 years ago, New York recognized the African-American Hunt before we did. Now he has more monumental art on view here than any other Chicagoan. These pieces, located near his studio, are among Hunt's most persuasive outdoor sculptures to evolve from organic form.
15. Skyspace, 2005, (James Turrell) Southwest corner of Halsted Street and Roosevelt Road.
Artner: Perceptual artist Turrell has created a silolike building that is not itself a sculpture. It acts as an observatory for changes in the colors of the sky he orchestrates in the hour after dusk and hour before dawn. The effort stands alone in public art in Chicago.