Clipped From Freeport Journal-Standard
& 1967, By Bell-McClure Syndicate One Man's View: Chicago Foolish Sculpture Almost Conservative By JOHN CANADAY N.Y. Times Art Critic © 1967, New York Times News Service NEW YORK—The Picasso sculpture (50 feet high, 163 tons of steel) unveiled in Chicago's Civic Center Plaza has been the subject of controversy (in that city) of a nature hardly credible in the year 1967. Picasso's politics and private life have been thrashed over once more as if they had any connection with the merits or demerits of his sculpture, and those merits and demerits have been evaluated by an esthetic standard that should have gone up in smoke with the rest of old Chicago in the fire of 1871. Making allowances for a degree of retardation, the hubbub would have been understandable 30 years ago in a country where the depression had generated the WPA style—a combination of flatfooted realism, backwoods iconography and flatulent idealism—as the standard for public monuments, and when the manner that Picasso refurbished for this monument was still new. This Is 1967 Even 20 years ago the ruckus would have been understandable, although unexpected in its vehemence, as a residual befogment in a city that had managed, fascinatingly, to reach the top of the heap architecturally while hamstrung in painting and sculpture by some clamorous members of a wealthy rear guard. But this is 1967, and the fact that so many Chicagoans have been puzzled and angered by this not very advanced sculpture-this sculpture in what has become virtually a classical, if not auite a conservative, 20th Century style-and that they should be irate for reasons that take us straight back to Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street"-all this leaves one agape. s The Chicago Tribune has editorialized at such ength against the sculpture (mind you, it is «ne for all the objections to be aired; the onlv puzzhng thing is that such curious' objectSs should be raked up for airing) that on Aug 17 an advertisement in that paper taken by DePau" University sounded like a paid rebuttal Defense Of Picasso Morris Barazani, the Vincentian Fathers' artist- m-residence, pointed out that "the fact that Picasso is a Communist and has had a lone succession of mistresses has no relation to his art ''Art is one thing. Politics and mistresses something else." Also in his "primer for the perplexed Barazani said that "sculpture is not If the Chicago Picasso, once the current foolishness surrounding it wears itself- out, becomes an expressive work of art for people in general it will be because it has captured some of the energy and wild invention that characterize our '