Paintings Below Zero

Any talk of visiting Chicago in February may seem like a cruel joke to travelers, but the Windy City’s taking advantage of its chilly weather to present a public art project that wouldn’t be possible in, say, the Grenadines.

Canadian artist Gordon Halloran‘s “Paintings Below Zero” is the centerpiece of the Museum of Modern Ice in downtown’s Millenium Park through February 29.

The work is an impressive, 95-foot long, 12-foot-high sheet of ice that constantly changes shape and texture as it melts and refreezes. Known locally as “The Popsicle,” Paintings Below Zero was quite a feat to create. The Chicago Tribune reports:

His slabs of ice, which he and his crew created over a month at a Fulton Market cold-storage warehouse, where temperatures hovered around 4 degrees Fahrenheit, carry patterns created by experiments with pigments, crystal structure and embedded shards of different colors.

Halloran envisions the wall as a receding glacier, cracking into shards and melting into the ocean.

In addition to the Tribune’ s extensive photo and video coverage, the Museum of Modern Ice has a lot of resources for learning about the art from photo galleries

and a schedule of events. Also, check out their blog for inside information from the production crew about how they maintain the sculpture.

The project is based on a similar work originally commissioned for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

And if you’re there to see the art but need to keep moving to stay warm, rent a pair of skates and do a triple axel over Halloran’s painting, embedded underneath the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.

Thanks for the tip, AreWeThereYet?!

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Photos: Jennifer Wilkinson

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