1960s Chicago Gave Birth to a Colorful, Frenetic Art Style That Is Still Gathering Steam

The Chicago Imagists of the 1960s and ’70s created colorful, energetic paintings and sculptures that often riffed on vernacular sources (comic books, pinball machines) and the eccentricities of American culture. Barbara Rossi’s colorful, corporeal shapes piled atop each other like jumbles of internal organs. Jim Nutt drew and painted grotesque figures that evoked brightly lit freak shows. Gladys Nilsson rendered overlapping bodies, simultaneously in their own worlds and parts of alarger, chaotic mass. Suellen Rocca created busy, symbol-laden canvases. A flat aesthetic triumphed over any attempt at realism or depth. This work diverged from that of the Imagists’ East Coast contemporaries; as the New York Pop artists developed an impersonal, mass-produced aesthetic, their Midwestern counterparts were making artwork that was more carnival than Campbell’s soup.

Source: 1960s Chicago Gave Birth to a Colorful, Frenetic Art Style That Is Still Gathering Steam

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