The Hairy Who? Still Fresh and Outrageous

Photograph source: "Time Out Chicago," Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago Karl Wirsum. "Screamin’ Jay Hawkins," 1968.
Karl Wirsum (BFA 1962, HON 2016), "Screamin' Jay Hawkins," 1968. Courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago

The Art NewspaperTime Out Chicago, Juxtapozand WTTW's Chicago Tonight have covered the Art Institute of Chicago's The Hairy Who? 1966–1969, which opened on September 26, and will be on view until January 6, 2019. 

The newly opened exhibition features the work of six of SAIC's most famous alums, Gladys Nilsson (BFA 1962, HON 2016), Jim Nutt (BFA 1967, HON 2016), Art Green (BFA 1965, HON 2016), Karl Wirsum (BFA 1962, HON 2016), Suellen Rocca (BFA 1964, HON 2016), and James Falconer (BFA 1965, HON 2016). The Art Newspaper mentions that the members were "a significant influence on younger artists in the city and the development of the Chicago Imagists." Cocurator Mark Pascale goes on to say in The Art Newspaper, "they set things in motion."According to Time Out Chicago, the show, which features more than 200 objects, "demonstrates just how forward-looking the group's output was." The exhibit's co-curator Thea Liberty Nichols refers to the work as still "so fresh and so outrageous." The Chicago Tonight segment calls the show "a kind of homecoming for the artists who literally went to school in the building." Juxtapoz described work of The Hairy Who's work as something that, "embraced idiosyncrasy and spontaneity with wordplay, puns, and inside jokes that often belied the transgressiveness of their subject matter. "