Flame of the Millennium, 2002
Kennedy Expressway at the Ohio Street Interchange
This 25-foot high stainless steel sculpture suggests a flame blown by the wind and it is an appropriately dynamic piece for its chosen location next to a busy expressway. It was a gift from Mexico City as part of the International Sculpture Exchange Program, which was established by the city of Chicago to help enhance its “gateways” by installing works of public art from Chicago’s international sister cities.
Leonardo Nierman was born in 1932 in Mexico City to immigrant parents from Lithuania and Ukraine, regions that are well represented in the population of the city of Chicago. Nierman is part of a generation of Mexican artists who have moved away from the influence of Mexican Muralists such as Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, in the direction of more abstract works that respond to formalist tendencies in Modernism.