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A Beautiful Day for Cheapskates

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 14, 2006 5:42PM

Your big Valentine’s Evening need not be threatened by a lack of ideas or lack of cash. You can impress that special someone tonight for absolutely free! Yes, that sounds like bad email spam but it’s true. Many of our favorite museums are free on Tuesdays.

aic.jpgThe Art Institute recently opened Girodet: Romantic Rebel in time for the mid-winter love fest. This retrospective brings together the highly emotional, at times erotic, work of a French painter whose influence is still felt on fantasy novel covers everywhere. While you’re there, check out Double White Venus, contemporary painter Cecilia Edefalk’s depictions of the goddess of love.

At the MCA, you can be more cryptic with your intentions. Try to decipher an impressive, if baffling, collection of figurative sculpture and abstract drawings, or let Samuel Beckett set a troublingly existential mood. Ponder Jim Isermann’s industrial sculpture together on your way out, and who knows where the night (or your relationship) is headed.

Or you can screw Cupid altogether and admire Caravaggio’s scenes of torture and beheadings at the Loyola University Museum of Art downtown. The doors stay open late for una mostra impossibile.

And for a free, unique Valentine’s gift, stop by River North this afternoon and grab a pretty pink and purple heart at Zg Gallery’s Beth Reitmeyer exhibition. If you just can’t get enough of the V-Day spirit, immerse yourself in these depictions of sweet, sweet love.

Then consider planning ahead next year.

Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Ave., is open until 4:30pm (sorry!)
Zg Gallery, 300 W. Superior St. is open until 5:30pm.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, and Loyola University's Museum of Art, 820 North Michigan Avenue, are open until 8pm.

Image via Art Institute of Chicago