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I've had a couple of nice emails from Chapman Kelley thanking us for referring to his legal battle with the Chicago authorities over the removal of his artwork Wildflower Works.

I've had a couple of nice emails from Chapman Kelley thanking us for referring to his legal battle with the Chicago authorities over the removal of his artwork Wildflower Works.

He was pleased to find the site and see discussion about artists like  Robert Smithson on the website; back in 1968 Kelley had been a central figure in creating the programme at the Northwood Art School in Dallas, Texas. In 1972, shortly before his death, Smithson had been a guest teacher there. That year he'd also exhibited Newton Harrison's work in his gallery in Dallas in 1972.

He's also keen to correct story that Wildflower Works was a Chicago-funded artwork:

I personally funded the installation and was not paid one red penney to do it. In the course of my creating the Wildflower Works it was necessary for me to liquidate a portion of my personal art collection. Some of the items which were sold were: a 1960 Henry Moore bronze divided figure, a 1957 Calder mobile, a 1969 Frank Stella protractor, a 1968 Jules Olitski and three Franz Kline’s. In addition, I sold many of my own paintings...

I would like to emphasize that in addition to its renown as a work of art, the Wildflower Works was wildly successful ecologically. The plants blossomed continuously throughout spring, summer and fall. It thrived solely on rainwater and used no insecticides or fertilizer. Beginning in 1984 and for two decades afterward, a team of dedicated volunteers maintained the Wildflower Works under my direction. William, at the time, it was an excellent example of a private-public partnership between myself, our volunteers and the City of Chicago.

However, at this point William, my advocacy team and I could use–in whatever form–all the help we can get. Perhaps, after reading The Art Newspaper article and your blog, serious artists might step forward to stand up for artists' rights.

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