Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists will screen on Friday, April 28th at 7 pm in conjunction with the exhibition "Children of the Playhouse," organized by Stella Brown, Harry Kuttner, and Emily Sher. The exhibition will be on view from April 16 to May 8, 2016.
"Children of the Playhouse" presents work by 25 artists whose work embodies the color, pattern, humor, and zaniness of the television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which aired on CBS from 1986 to 1990. Their work ranges in medium from ceramics and textiles, to illustrations, comics and zines, as well as multimedia sculptures and installations. The organizers of this show, and many of the artists presented in it, are of the generation, or have children of the generation, whose formative years roughly coincide with the airing of the program. The production design of the Playhouse itself reflects the creative team’s nostalgia for their childhood experience of midcentury American design and popular culture. Likewise, the younger artists of Children of the Playhouse have drawn inspiration from their own childhood in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a return to the squiggle- the pattern that permeated their childhood.
Chicago is an appropriate location for this exhibition as a center for appreciation of so-called outsider art, as well as being home to the Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagist movement whose influence can be seen throughout the Playhouse’s design. The artists in this exhibition continue the tradition of art that is not afraid to be representational, decorative and graphic, irreverent and playful and to embrace materiality and craft. Every object becomes an opportunity to celebrate its existence, to be the most version of that object, luxuriating in the extremes of color and form. These artists continue to work in the spirit of the Playhouse and the surreal, uninhibited creativity it represents.
More information about the exhibition (including open hours) and related programming can be found here:
Note that the exhibition takes place at Present (2101 W. Cullerton), but the screening will be at ACRE, 1345 W. 19th St.