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word of the week: GROTESQUE

2011 January 25
by Caroline Nye Stevens

GROTESQUE: a sculpture of a creature characterized by fantastically combining incongruous human, animal, and foliate forms (also sometimes called an antic). The word grotesque is also used as an adjective denoting a decorative style distinguished by such outlandish forms.

A grotesque should not be confused with a gargoyle — which is definitively a water spout in grotesque form. So while gargoyles are grotesques, a grotesque is not always a gargoyle.

There is a limitless variety of grotesques in the world. Here are two examples of grotesques in Logan Square: one found on a home on Francisco Avenue and the other at 2656 W. Logan Blvd.

Grotesque 2656 W. Logan Blvd.

Grotesque at 2656 W. Logan Blvd.

grotesque, chicago

Francisco Ave. Grotesque

5 Responses
  1. Margalit Matso permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Actually, Logan Sq. has a number of great Grotesques all around — I will make note if you wish & send you the locations — mm

    • Caroline Nye permalink*
      January 25, 2011

      There are some interesting grotesques all across the city! I’d love everyone to share some of their favorites!

  2. Cayla permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Great Word! I love when commonly used words are provided a thorough and thoughtful meaning.

  3. January 25, 2011

    You can see the Grotesques n my building at 728 W. Jackson at the building website I put up:
    There is a great photo on the right side of the page about halfway down.

    I also wrote a small article on my blog:

    • Caroline Nye permalink*
      January 26, 2011

      This is great Christine – thanks for sharing!

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