CHICAGO—An exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates a long association between the world-class museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which is celebrating 150 years of educating artists, designers and scholars.
“Homegrown: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Permanent Collection” features works from the Art Institute’s holdings made by artists who attended SAIC. Beginning with the early 20th century and organized by decade, the display presents works by some of the most illustrious SAIC-educated artists while also prominently featuring pieces by those whose tenure at the school has at times been overlooked.
“After 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s legacy of achievement in the arts and design is unparalleled thanks in no small part to the generations of artists who have come here to study and practice,” said SAIC President Walter E. Massey. “The Art Institute of Chicago is a bedrock of our students’ education, enabling them to see their work as it relates to the museum’s vast collection and inspiring them to grow into the world’s leading artists and designers.”
Highlights include 20 iconic self-portraits by Ivan Albright (SAIC, 1919–23, HON 1977), created at the end his career using a variety of drawing and painting media, and a selection of color woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann (SAIC 1897), a Santa Fe-based artist, designer and letterpress printer who studied at SAIC as a teenager.
Also included are the sketchbooks of Margo Hoff (SAIC 1934–37) and LeRoy Neiman (SAIC 1946–50); Neiman’s drawings of Chicago’s Oak Street Beach, in particular, showcase the glitterati of a period typified by Hugh Hefner’s founding of Playboy in Chicago in 1953. Pieces by the so-called Monster Roster artists who matured in the late 1940s and early 1950s—including Cosmo Campoli (BFA 1950), Leon Golub (BFA 1949, MFA 1950, HON 1982) and Nancy Spero (BFA 1949, HON 1991)—and Imagist and Hairy Who artists such as Gladys Nilsson (BFA 1962), Suellen Rocca (BFA 1964), Sarah Canright (BFA 1964) and Christina Ramberg (BA 1968, MFA 1973), along with a variety of more recent works, round out the selections. Nilsson’s “Big School Picture; Little Paper Mural,” commissioned by SAIC to be used as a poster advertising the school, serves as a particularly witty, beautiful example of the artist’s work in its maturity.
Curated by Mark Pascale, the Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago and Adjunct Professor at SAIC, the exhibition features approximately 120 objects and will run through February 14, 2016.
About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave and LeRoy Neiman.