Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: charles burchfield

Gladys Nilsson

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Gladys Nilsson’s “Plain Air” (2018), acrylic on canvas. Courtesy: Gladys Nilsson; John and Susan Horseman; Garth Greenan Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery

In 1966, Gladys Nilsson and five other young artists organized an exhibition of their work in Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center, and overnight became the talk of the town. The group called themselves the Hairy Who.

Their art could be caustic, outré, vulgar and loud; psychedelic patterns and clashing colors abounded. It was bad taste and brilliant fun. Tattoos, graffiti, comic books, fanzines, games and toys, newspaper and magazine advertisements were all influences, as was the encyclopedic, global collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rooted in the Surrealist traditions of Chicago’s art scene, it was unlike anything else in America at that time. Read the rest of this entry »

Frames of Reference

In recent years, the work of self-taught artists has come to be contextualized within larger narratives of contemporary art. How is Outsider Art best understood and what does this definition mean when ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ become blurred? How does it relate to fraught issues of education and exclusion, originality and exploitation? Jonathan Griffin invited Robert GoberMatthew HiggsPaul Laffoley and David Maclagan to discuss these questions.

John Hiltunen, Untitled, 2012, collage, 30 × 21 cm

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