The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded Pentimenti Productions $75,000 for completion of its first documentary, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists. HW & The CI was the only film selected, out of 35 projects receiving $3.2 million in funding for the spring 2012 cycle.
Pentimenti Productions' inaugural film, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, is the first feature-length documentary to focus on the seminal group of Chicago artists known as the Imagists. The 1966-68 self-titled exhibiting group Hairy Who included Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, Karl Wirsum, Art Green, Suellen Rocca and Jim Falconer. Other artists that came to be associated with them under the rubric of "Chicago Imagism" include Ed Paschke, Roger Brown, Christina Ramberg, Barbara Rossi, Phil Hanson, Sarah Canright, Ed Flood and Ray Yoshida. Kissing cousins to the contemporaneous international phenomenon of Pop Art, Chicago Imagist art took its own weird, wondrous, in-your-face tack. Variously pugnacious, scatological, graphic, comical, and absurd, it celebrated a very different version of 'popular' from the detached cool of New York, London, and Los Angeles, making its appeal to the playful, subversive side of the viewer's imagination without relinquishing a sense of gravitas.
"My team and I are extraordinarily honored to have received the financial support of the Andy Warhol Foundation, which will make possible the completion of this necessary film, and introduce a critically under-recognized group of artists to a broader public. We are thrilled and grateful to receive recognition of the importance of our efforts to further understanding of the history of 20th century American art," said Pentimenti's Artistic Director Leslie Buchbinder.
One of the major arts funders in the United States, the mission of the Andy Warhol Foundation is to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized or challenging in nature.