Hairy Who and Chicago Imagists interviews

Inclusive Dates: 
2008–2014
Survey Repository: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

Transcripts of 58 interviews (15 minutes to 2.5 hours in length) of 56 subjects conducted between 2008 and 2014 in preparation for Pentimenti Productions’ documentary film “Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists” (2014). Chicago Imagist artists and others artists share memories of the Imagist era of the 1960s-1970s as well as thoughts on artmaking, sources of inspiration, studio practices, and the place of Imagism in history. Curators, critics, and collectors active at the time reflect on the era, Imagist art, and its place in Chicago history and art history in general. Younger artists and curators as well as historians discuss how they discovered the Chicago Imagists, their interactions with the artists, the role Imagism has played in their own creative development, and their thoughts on Imagism's continuing relevance in the 21st century.

Biographical Historical Note

The Chicago Imagists were an iconoclastic group of young artists who showed their work in successive waves of exhibitions with various names, includin Hairy Who, Nonplussed Some, The False Image, Marriage Chicago Style, and Chicago Antigua. Chicago Imagism was related to the international phenomenon of Pop Art but notably defied its detached cool, offering an alternative vision that was variously pugnacious, puerile, scatological, graphic, comical, and absurd.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Administrative Files, Elmhurst College Art Collection; Biographical Collection, Art Slides Collection, and Portrait Collection, Roosevelt University Archives; Exhibition Files, Hyde Park Art Center.