Art Institute Picks Their Collection’s Most Frightening Pieces


As a lame adult now too old to go out to raucous parties, but young enough not to have kids yet, this writer’s connection to Halloween has sadly become distanced. As such, he hasn’t really been on the lookout for much spooky, seasonally-appropriate pieces to share with you here. Fortunately, our pals over at Chicago’s iconic Art Institute have come through at the eleventh hour for us with their recent post to their Facebook page:

In honor of Halloween, we took an office poll: what’s the scariest/creepiest/spookiest work in the collection? Here are some of our picks.

Therein you’ll find ten decidedly scary pieces, like Francis Bacon‘s Figure with Mean (6 out of 10 on the creepy scale), Irving Penn‘s famous The Angel photograph (3 out of 10), and for those with a decidedly popular phobia, Bruce Nauman‘s video installation Clown Torture (8 of 10, regardless if you previously had a fear or not). A thanks to the Art Institute for bringing the high brow to a purposefully low brow holiday. We applaud whoever decided this would be a fun idea, because it most certainly is.