3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980 explores the sculptural work and dimensional paintings of Chicago artists who invented their own kind of pop art, Chicago Imagism. A warm, personal, humorous strain of Pop, it contrasted with the cooler, more neutral varieties in New York and London. The first in-depth exploration of the overall affinity of Imagist artists for the object, this exhibition expands the Imagist's legacy to audiences beyond Chicago.
The Chicago Imagists worked individually, crafting unique approaches, and shared some influences, such as Surrealism and the Surrealists’ love of 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 and Eleanor Dube, painted on shaped canvases, and most incorporated their frames into the heart of their paintings. In addition to members of the original Imagist groups, the exhibition will include work by Don Baum, the chief curator of the Imagist moment; 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 for the exhibition; and Red Grooms, whose large-scale installation City of Chicago links the Windy City to artists in New York City and beyond.
The exhibition and subsequent catalog are funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, as part of Art Design Chicago, a year-long initiative in 2018 to explore Chicago’s role as a catalyst and incubator for innovations in art and design. 3-D Doings is organized by Tang Museum Dayton Director Ian Berry and Chicago-based curators and scholars John Corbett and Jim Dempsey.
Art Design Chicago is a wide-ranging initiative to explore the breadth of Chicago’s role as a catalyst and incubator for innovations in art and design. Spearheaded and funded by the Terra Foundation, with significant support from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Art Design Chicago was developed in partnership with more than 40 cultural organizations to celebrate Chicago’s artists, designers, and creative producers. Art Design Chicago will feature more than 25 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs, presented throughout 2018, as well as the creation of several scholarly publications and a four- part documentary.
John Corbett and Jim Dempsey are longtime Chicago scholars and curators, having organized shows at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the Chicago History Museum, among others. They are the co-owners of the Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery in Chicago.