WTTW recognizes alumnus H.C. Westermann and his staunch commitment to originality.
WTTW recognizes alumnus H.C. Westermann and his staunch commitment to originality.
February 15

Chicago Tonight Spotlights SAIC Alumnus H.C. Westermann

On February 6, WTTW program Chicago Tonight spotlighted SAIC alumnus and influential artist H.C. Westermann (1947), known to close friends as Cliff. Noting the artist’s complicated sculptures and graphic, political drawings inspired by his service in the Marines during World War II, the Smart Museum’s Richard Born adds, “his craftsmanship was impeccable, and he would go to no ends to construct one of his sculptures so that it would last the ages.”  The segment describes Westermann as an “artist’s artist” who escaped categorization and ignored the critics. “He was always out of the mainstream in so far as the prevailing art forms of the day just weren’t things that he was interested in,” explains Lynne Warren of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). Notably, Westermann was beloved by English pop artists Peter Blake, who included an image of the artist on the cover he designed for the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper album. Mies Van Der Rohe was also a fan.  The iconic architect was Westermann’s first client, purchasing a square construction made of rope and wood.