Apr 30th 2015

***Seating is first come, first served. Guests who have already seen the film at a previous screening and would like to attend the panel discussion only will be admitted at 8 pm if seats remain.***

“Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists” (Directed by Leslie Buchbinder, 2014, 105 minutes, HD) is a lavishly-illustrated romp through Chicago Imagist art: the Second City scene that challenged Pop Art’s status quo in the 1960s, then faded from view. Variously pugnacious, puerile, scatalog­ical, graphic, comical, and absurd, Imagism celebrated a very different version of ‘popular’ from the detached cool of New York, London and Los Angeles. Forty years later, its funk and grit inspires artists from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware.

The post-screening panel discussion will focus on gender equality in the visual arts. Many of the Imagist artists were and are vocal advocates of the equal treatment that they felt male and female artists in their group enjoyed as early as the mid-1960s. Some describe this feature of the Imagist scene as one that set it apart from the male-dominated environments in other art-world centers. This subject is touched upon in “Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists,” and this panel discussion will be an opportunity to explore this history and its legacy more critically.

The speakers on the panel have been chosen to represent a variety of perspectives. Barbara Rossi experienced the Imagist scene first-hand, as a member of the original artist group. Sue Williams is now based in New York, but hails from the Chicago area and has identified the Imagists as a source of influence. As executive director of Woman Made Gallery and a respected curator and critic, Claudine Isé is uniquely qualified to discuss gender issues in the Chicago art scene, and the crucial role that criticism and the gallery system play in galvanizing gender roles. The discussion will be moderated by Judith Russi Kirshner, a critic, curator, educator, and current Deputy Director for Education at the Art Institute of Chicago who has lectured and written about feminist art and Chicago artists including Christina Ramberg.

This program is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, and is co-sponsored by Gallery 400 and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.





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