A ‘love letter’ to Chicago Imagism art movement

Chicago Imagists

A documentary screening and panel discussion Thursday focus on the 1960s Chicago Imagism art movement, described as graphic, comical and absurd.


The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum invites all to a free film screening and panel discussion Thursday on the 1960s art movement Chicago Imagism.

The museum will screen “Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists,” a 2014 documentary film directed by Leslie Buchbinder that the Chicago Tribune described as “a love letter.”

A panel discussion, “Gender Equality in the Visual Arts,” will follow, with curator and critic Claudine Isé, executive director of Woman Made Gallery, Barbara Rossi, a Chicago Imagist, and artist Sue Williams. The discussion will be moderated by Judith Russi Kirshner, deputy director for education, Art Institute of Chicago.

“Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists” is a lavishly illustrated documentary on Chicago Imagism, the 1960s art movement that challenged Pop Art’s status quo, then faded from view. Forty years later, its funk and grit inspire artists from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware.

Variously described as graphic, comical, absurd, pugnacious, puerile and scatalogical, Chicago Imagism celebrated a different version of popular art from that of the detached cool of New York, London and Los Angeles.

The post-screening panel discussion will focus on gender equality in the visual arts, which is discussed in the film. Many Imagist artists have advocated the equal treatment that male and female artists in their group enjoyed. Some describe this quality as one that set Imagism apart from the male-dominated environments in other art centers.

The event at Gallery 400 begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the film at 6 p.m.
and the discussion at 8 p.m.

For more information, call 312-413-5353.


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