A visitor to Chicago certainly can be excused for thinking few corners or buildings go unadorned with art. Indeed, more than 700 works are scattered around the city inside and outside public facilities and parks. And that doesn’t include treasures found just inside lobbies of corporate buildings and hotels. Click here to see a map of public art in the loop. However, when interested in just a few choice pieces, check out the five works listed below.
(Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)


Cloud Gate
Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 742-1168
www.cityofchicago.org

Visit a sculpture in Millennium Park that reflects you. Its nickname is “The Bean” but the artwork’s true name is Cloud Gate. Created by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor, the piece is made of stainless steel so highly polished it reflects the clouds, the city skyline and walkers nearby. You can go under it through its central arc or around its huge, 66-foot long elliptical form, but either way take a photo or a “selfie.” Everyone does.

The Picasso
Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-3315
www.cityofchicago.org

As popular as “The Bean” is, what is arguably Chicago’s most famous sculpture sits on a plaza a few blocks west of Millennium Park. Called “The Picasso” even though that is not its official title, it is an imposing Cor-Tan steel sculpture that seems to loom over Daley Plaza. At 50 feet high, its face seems to watch street and plaza activities. Since its unveiling in 1967, the sculpture has come to represent Chicago as much as the city’s famed water tower. Viewers try to figure out what its abstract form is supposed to be because Pablo Picasso, whom the city commissioned to do the work, never said. He donated it to Chicago without a name. It is listed as “Untitled” but everyone refers to it as “The Picasso.” If those are wings behind the head maybe it should be called “Guardian Angel” or “Mythological Spirit.”

(Photo Credit: cityofchicago.org)

(Photo Credit: cityofchicago.org)


The Four Seasons
Chase Tower
10 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 744-3315
www.cityofchicago.org

Russian artist Marc Chagall’s gorgeous, Four Seasons mosaic wall is an easy stroll south of Daley Plaza on Dearborn Street. Walk around the wall to see how Chagall interpreted Chicago scenes using his signature surrealist images of people, flora and fauna. Its 250 colors range from bright to muted depending on the season shown.

Related: Art Lover’s Walking Tour Of Chicago

Flamingo
Federal Plaza
50 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 744-3315
www.cityofchicago.org

If you keep walking south on Dearborn Street you come to Alexander Calder’s stunning steel flamingo. Its bright red curves stand out against the plaza’s Mies van der Rohe designed federal buildings. A 53-foot-high stabile sculpture (as opposed to Calder’s mobiles), the piece’s representational tall legs and curved neck encourage pedestrians to walk under and through it.

Agora
Grant Park
South Michigan Ave. and E. Roosevelt Drive (Twelfth Street)
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 744-3316
www.cityofchicago.org

Polish artist Magdelena Abakanowicz’s headless, cast-iron people seem to walk the southwest corner of Grant Park without getting anywhere. Named with the Greek word for gathering place, the Agora installation’s people could be coming together in the park. There are 106 nine-foot-high torsos that are grouped as if walking or standing. Even though it is an impressive installation that draws wows and comments from bus riders on their way to Chicago’s Museum Campus just east, it is not as well known as the sculptures about 13 blocks north in Millennium Park. Donated by Abakanowicz and the Polish Ministry of Culture, the multi-sculpture installation is worth walking to the south end of Grant Park to take a photo.

Related: Best Art Walks In Chicago

Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.