Just steps away from the Randolph street entrance of the Chicago Cultural Center, at the intersection of Garland alleyway, is a gleaming silver totem by Chicago born sculptor Richard Hunt.
Recognized as having completed more public sculptures in the US then any other artist, he has over twenty-five pieces in Chicago alone, namely Jacob’s Ladder from 1977, at the Carter Woodson Chicago Public Library at 9525 S. Halstead, and Freeform from 1993, the spindly centerpiece of the massive façade of the State of Illinois Building at 160 N. LaSalle. His almost twenty-five other works across Illinois range from pieces at the Evanston Public Library to pieces on the grounds of the McDonald’s Corporation headquarters out in Oak Brook.
Hunt, who was born and raised on the Southside, completed We Will in 2005. His large public sculptures involve work in a forge and are created with many studio assistants on hand. He likens this collaborative process in the fabrication of his work to what it’s like negotiating with the commissioners and community of his public work once a piece is complete.
Richard Hunt. We Will. 2005. Steel. Photo: Thea Liberty Nichols
The pointed tips of the curvilinear petals of this sculpture seem to be bursting forth as much as they are solemnly, yet determinedly striving upward. On a sunny day, light winks off of every plane of this piece, and because of it’s massive size, it’s almost always better viewed from across the street, in front of Gallery 37, if you want to take in the whole glittering thing at once.
--Thea Liberty Nichols