Sometimes history, or some elements of it, get obscured by the stuff that shouted more loudly, or glittered more prettily. The Chicago Imagists (a diverse group of artists heralding from the Art Institute of Chicago) seem to have been obscured by the much feted work of their Pop Art contemporaries. All this should begin to change with the publication of this book (published by the Hayward Gallery, on the occasion of their recent exhibition of the work).
Chicago Imagists draws together the work of fourteen of the best-known figures from the group and presents paintings, prints, drawings, objects and ephemera all showing the influence of comic book art, surreal imagery, art brut and cryptic wordplay (Hairy Who?). The otherworldly and the strange abound within these pages, with work reflecting a woozy, late 60/early 70s psychedelia, or gonzo cartoon surrealism. And yet, it all looks strangely contemporary, as if someone has been looking.
Features the work of Roger Brown, Sarah Canright, Jim Falconer, Ed Flood, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Philip Hanson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida.