Art Green, "Florid Discomfiture," 1968, Oil on canvas, 42 3/4" x 40 1/4"

preview the exhibition here

Adam Baumgold Gallery presents the exhibition "Made in Chicago ca. 1970" from October 17 through November 30, 2002. The exhibition examines paintings, drawings, sculptures, constructions and prints executed around 1970 by a highly original, idiosyncratic group of Chicago artists known as "Imagists." The artists included in the exhibition are Roger Brown, Art Green, Philip Hanson, Ellen Lanyon, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Peter Saul, H.C. Westermann, Karl Wirsum, Joseph Yoakum, and Ray Yoshida. These artists created an iconic, pictorial vocabulary that was culled from the vernacular- "comics and cheap ads heightened through distortion, high keyed color and slick or scruffy surfaces."

The Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1967, staged its first Chicago artist exhibition in its basement titled "Don Baum Says Chicago Needs Famous Artists." Responding to the changing political and social climate of the late 60's, and influenced by Surrealism, German Expressionism, the eccentric sculptures of H.C. Westermann and the drawings of visionary outsider artist Joseph Yoakum, the "Imagists" created artworks that were quite different from the cooler, more impersonal Pop art of the 60's and also the abstraction and minimalism that was prevalent in 1970. "Made in Chicago" focuses on this group of artists emerging from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 60's. The earliest works were shown at the Hyde Park Art Center under the collective name of "The Hairy Who," whose members were Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum, Art Green, Suellen Rocca, Gladys Nilsson and James Falconer. These artists were followed by the younger group of Roger Brown, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Phil Hanson and Barbara Rossi. Together with SAIC teacher and fellow artist Ray Yoshida, they examined self taught art, "Trash Treasures," and the holdings of The Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum, to produce a body of work that carried on the ancient tradition of the grotesque, containing irony and wit.

Included in the exhibition is Jim Nutt's "A Feeble Trap," 1971, an imaginary portrait in which line erupts and distends the form, at once comic and absurd, yet still recognizable, Roger Brown's "The Other Side of Wichita," 1974, is an American landscape painting where space and pattern integrate and, as in a comic strip, the unreality of the pictorial space becomes real through repetition. Karl Wirsum's "Cardbroad (Magnet Hands)," 1970, depicts a card- board puppet whose symmetry reveals a concoction of conscious puns, idealized movie posters, Japanese block print silhouettes and stylized motifs from the Inca culture.

The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00-5:30 P.M.

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