Art: Chicago Is Not That Sick

Biggest, brawlingest and richest ($7,975 in prizes) local art annual in the U.S. is held by Chicago's Art Institute. Last week, as usual, Chicago's 59th annual blew up in a storm of local outrage. Reason: of the 24 cash awards (picked from 2,027 works submitted), 18 went to relative unknowns, e.g., the top painting award ($1,500) was won by Canadian-born Anna P. Baker, 27 and two years out of art school, for a hectic, minutely squiggled abstractionist canvas titled High Frequency Ping. Almost every big-name Chicago artist finished out of the prize money....

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