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This generously illustrated catalogue explores the history and significance of the Hairy Who, a group of six Chicago artists who transformed imagery from popular culture into highly personal works of art in a variety of media. New scholarship based on documentary materials—including exhibition checklists, installation views, and artist-made ephemera—reconstructs the group’s six exhibitions, held between 1966 and 1969, and offers a reassessment of the Hairy Who’s idiosyncratic place within the cultural and political context of its time and place.
Insightful essays examine the distinctive features of the Hairy Who’s art and collaboration, explain how the group’s work diverges from contemporaneous movements such as Pop and Funk, and provide biographical information on the artists themselves. Contributions from acclaimed contemporary artists Richard Hull and Laura Owens reflect on the Hairy Who’s sources and influence, exploring how the group remains relevant in today’s art world in significant and unexpected ways.
About the Author
Thea Liberty Nichols is a researcher, Mark Pascale is Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings, and Ann Goldstein is deputy director and chair and curator of modern and contemporary art, all at the Art Institute of Chicago.
“This substantial catalog, like its exhibition (through Jan. 6) at the Art Institute of Chicago, sorts out who was and was not Hairy Who, those six subversive Chicago artists who exhibited together under its rubric for four short years mostly at the Hyde Park Art Center.”—Roberta Smith, New York Times
“The essays give smart consideration to the often-ignored craft of a small underground group that became arguably Chicago’s best known visual-art export.”—Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune