Immersive, Wild, and Irreverent: Chicago Magazine Reviews Hairy Who Exhibit

Suellen Rocca, 'Bare Shouldered Beauty and the Pink Creature', 1965. | "Chicago Magazine"
Suellen Rocca, "Bare Shouldered Beauty and the Pink Creature," 1965

Chicago magazine reviewed the Art Institute of Chicago's Hairy Who: 1966–1969, a group show coinciding with 50th anniversary of the Chicago Imagist group the Hairy Who's last group exhibition at Hyde Park in 1968. Hairy Who: 1966–1969 features work by members Suellen Rocca (BFA 1964, HON 2016), Gladys Nilsson (BFA 1962, HON 2016), Art Green (BFA 1965, HON 2016), Karl Wirsum (BFA 1962, HON 2016), Jim Nutt (BFA 1967, HON 2016), and James Falconer (BFA 1965, HON 2016).

Describing the show variously as "immersive, irreverent and wild", the review noted the Art Institute's commitment to "capturing the DIY spirit" of their early shows. The article also chronicled the Hairy Who's exhibitions held in New York City, Washington DC and San Francisco, and emphasized the Hairy Who’s unique aesthetic and position at a time when pop art, minimalism and conceptualism dominated the art world. Per the article, the Hairy Who were “critiquing capitalism and consumer culture directly,” and “were much more interested in critiquing the established subject matter of fine art.”

The Chicago magazine article ends the piece by stating that by allowing the collective free reign in how their audience should interact with their art, and letting their art speak for itself, the Hairy Who’s work as "a bold artistic statement" persists undeterred. Read the full review at Chicago magazine.