• September 8, 2018–January 6, 2019

3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964–1980

Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College

815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866

Wirsum armpits web2

Karl Wirsum, Armpits, 1963, acrylic and fur on canvas, 28 x 26 inches, private collection


3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964–1980 examines the little-known sculptural work and dimensional painting made by the Chicago Imagists during the early years of their practice. As the first in-depth exploration of the overall affinity of Imagist artists for objects, the exhibition features artists who worked individually to craft unique approaches, but who shared key influences, such as Surrealism and the Surrealist objects.

Although each artist had their own fiercely unique style, they shared an interest in popular culture, comics, and material objects. Some artists, like Suellen Rocca and Roger Brown, worked with mass-produced materials, manipulating and augmenting everyday household items. Other artists used materials associated with craft: Karl Wirsum, Christina Ramberg, and Philip Hanson, for instance, made extensive use of papier mâché; and Barbara Rossi used sewn fabrics in her printmaking. Some artists, including Art Green, Jim Nutt, and Eleanor Dube, painted on shaped forms. In addition to members of the original Imagist groups, the exhibition will include work by Don Baum, the chief curator of the Imagist moment; Ray Yoshida, the teacher with whom many Imagists studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; H.C. Westermann, arguably the point of origin of Chicago Imagism; and Red Grooms, whose 1968 film Tappy Toes, and the large-scale installation City of Chicago links the Windy City to artists in New York City and beyond. 3-D Doings is organized by Tang Dayton Director Ian Berry, and Chicago-based scholars, independent curators, and gallerists John Corbett and Jim Dempsey.