Jean Dubuffet's "Monument of the Standing Beast" is a refreshing dirty-white oddity jutting up at the corner of Clark and Randolph streets.. The Crowd People on their lunch hour walk past the sculpture in front of the James R. Thompson Center like it's not even there; such is the power of familiarity. Business people munch their sandwiches, and the occasional child runs through it.
But is it Art? It's 29 feet tall and made up of about 10 tons of white fiberglass sticking up from the pavement in four different groupings. Ugly and papier-mâché-like, it makes for a funny, bizarre contrast with the mighty, imposing glass edifice of the building looming humorlessly right over it. With a playful and nonsensical spirit, the sculpture also sits in contrast to John Henry's angular, Lego-like "Boundaries," which resides inside the Center's atrium.
Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) In the 1940s, critics termed his work "l'art brut" ("raw art") because of its violent nature. "Monument" is part of a cycle of work begun in 1962, based on a drawing he made in 1969.