How Chicago! Imagists from the 1960s & 1970s | Hayward Touring Exhibition


The Chicago Imagists were a group of artists who practiced together and in association with each other throughout the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s. They came out of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they were very inspired by vernacular culture, by sideshows, by music, by the kind of underground in Chicago, by architecture, the kind of visual language of the city. They were really doing something that other artists accross the country weren’t doing. The Chicago Imagists first featured in self-organised exhibitions that challenged particular conventions. Their example speaks not least to a collective mode of working that has a particular relevance to the context where the exhibition is presented, in London and in the South Coast of England. For me at Goldsmiths CCA, we’re a university gallery, there’s something really important about showing a group of artists coming together through an art school, and working together for decades. It felt really resonant to bring these artists to Bexhill-on-Sea, to bring this exhibition here is a really amazing model of how it is possible to build a community of practice outside of a capital city. Exhibitions developed in partnerships with museums and galleries accross the UK are a really important element of Hayward Gallery Touring. They result in some of our most ambitious projects, often beyond the scope of any single institution. How Chicago joins recent Hayward Gallery Touring exhibitions that evidence our dedication to working in partnership and delivering exhibitions that combine historical breadth, scholarship and a deep relevance to contemporary culture.

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