Dates extended by popular demand!
June 29, 2018–February 10, 2019
Curated by Kenneth Burkhart and Lisa Stone
Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow explores Chicago’s history of robust recognition and acceptance of self-taught art and artists. Curated by Kenneth Burkhart, an independent curator, and Lisa Stone, curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition presents intrinsic themes embodied in the works of 10 Chicago artists: Henry Darger, William Dawson, Lee Godie, Mr. Imagination, Aldo Piacenza, Pauline Simon, Drossos Skyllas, Dr. Charles Smith, Wesley Willis, and Joseph Yoakum. Themes and associations among works in the exhibition include expressions of fierce resistance to soul-crushing circumstances, to conventional ideals of beauty, and much in between. Culled from 30 collections (and many more examined), the exhibition explores the commingled histories of the ten artists, and the artists, educators, curators, dealers, collectors, and appreciators who comprised the culture of receptivity in Chicago, and embraced their work. The history of exhibitions of non-mainstream work in Chicago, from 1941 to the present, amplifies and underscores the curatorial premise.
Organized and traveled by Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow premiered at Intuit on June 29, 2018. The exhibition tours to La Halle Saint Pierre (Paris, March 23–August 2, 2019), Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne, March 6–August 30, 2020) and Outsider Art Museum (Amsterdam, September 2020–March 2021). Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Intuit has received funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art to support the exhibition, catalogue, and international travel.
Click below to view the exhibition catalog:
Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago's art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Press coverage of this exhibition:
8 Must-See 'Art Design Chicago' Summer Exhibitions (Choose Chicago)
'Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow' celebrates outsider art, Chicago history (Chicago Tribune)
‘Chicago Calling’ offers an inside look at the city’s outsider artists (Chicago Sun-Times)
See 80 Years of Outsider Art in Chicago (Chicago Magazine)
Arts Section Roundtable Discussion (WDCB Radio)
Intuit Exhibition Highlights Chicago’s Embrace of Outside Art (WTTW Chicago)
Chicago Calling: A Display of Self-Taught Chicago Artists
Dates extended by popular demand!
June 29, 2018–February 10, 2019
Curated by Bill Swislow
To say there is a Chicago school of art collecting may be an overstatement, but there does seem to be a Chicago style of collecting, characterized by an acquisitive eye and a hunger to spot creativity wherever and however it turns up, no matter how unlikely the setting and without much regard to anxieties about aesthetic categories or theories.
It’s not hard to draw a direct line from that generosity of taste to the discovery and cultivation of the artists featured in Chicago Calling: Henry Darger, Lee Godie, Wesley Willis, Joseph Yoakum and the others. That line also encompasses a vast number of anonymous creators as well as artists who are known but haven’t won acclaim at the level of these canonical geniuses. This other creativity can be just as striking, and it has found entrée into many collections, if not as many museums.
This style of collecting inspires a certain way of displaying the stuff, epitomized by the homes of such influential artist-collectors as Roger Brown and Ray Yoshida. Quantity makes packing shelves with objects a practical necessity, and those crowded shelves, unified only by the collector’s eye, make an aesthetic statement in their own right. So do the nearby paintings typically hung “salon style,” a euphemism for the kind of high-density display seen in this Chicago We Own It exhibit. That title, it should be said, is inspired by a favorite phrase of canonical Chicago artist Lee Godie, which also serves nicely as a slogan for those Chicago collectors to whose acquisitiveness we owe this show.
May 19-June 17, 2018
Opening reception: Saturday, May 19, 2-5 p.m.
Curated by Melissa Smith
Intuit's Teacher Fellowship Program Student Exhibition will showcase participants in the 2017-2018 Teacher Fellowship Program. Inspired by self-taught and outsider art, students transform found and non-traditional materials into art pieces that reflect their personal visions. Join us for a free, family-friendly opening reception on May 19.
The Teacher Fellowship Program is Intuit's award-winning professional development program for teachers from Chicago Public Schools that reaches more than 600 students across Chicago annually. The core value of the program is enabling teachers to give their students an opportunity to translate their personal vision to art-making using non-traditional materials in a non-judgmental environment: Each person has creative potential. By participating in the program, teachers collaborate with colleagues on a lesson plan to help their students integrate the characteristics of outsider art into cross-disciplinary arts learning. Intuit's Teacher Fellowship Program is sponsored in part by generous grants from Crown Family Philanthropies, Polk Bros Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, Alphawood Foundation, and Driehaus Foundation.
March 23-June 10, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 5-8 p.m.
Curated by Matt Arient and Tim Bruce
In 2018, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art will feature two major exhibitions focusing on place, To Be Seen and Heard, highlighting Wisconsin as a place where art was made, and Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow, which explores the role of Chicago in the critical reception of outsider art.
On view at Intuit from March 23 – June 17, 2018, To Be Seen and Heard brings attention to 5 Wisconsin artists: Prophet William J. Blackmon, Josephus Farmer, Simon Sparrow, Albert Zahn, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. These often under-recognized artists/preachers/environment builders created works, not in isolation, but “To Be Seen and Heard.”
This exhibition will feature nearly fifty paintings, photographs, sculptures, and reliefs. From the signs and religious imagery of Prophet J. Blackmon and Josephus Farmer, to the mixed media constructions of Simon Sparrow, to the carvings of Albert Zahn, and paintings and photographs by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, the exhibition will highlight the important contribution these artists have made to the art world. Wisconsin has produced and fostered a great number of artists and creative thinkers. To Be Seen and Heard highlights a select few who deserve a wider audience.
Press coverage of this exhibition:
The best art exhibits to see in Chicago in March (TimeOut Chicago)
62 Things to Do in Chicago in March (Chicago Magazine)
This Summer's Must-See Museum Shows (Milwaukee Magazine)
January 26-May 13, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m. with an artist and curator Q&A discussion, 7 p.m.
Curated by Michael Noland and Keith Sadler
After attending University of Chicago for just a year, then serving in the United States Navy for four years, Rockford, Ill. native Stephen Warde Anderson decided he’d spend the rest of his life creating things.
His nontraditional route to uncovering his artistic talents, as well as his skills being entirely self-taught, make Anderson’s work all the more astonishing. Stephen Warde Anderson: Attention to Detail captures the pointillist techniques he employed in his earliest works. Anderson’s art is heavily concentrated in portraits of film stars, famous women and historical subjects. Intuit will be showcasing more than 30 of these paintings, two never-before-seen by the public. Attention to Detail will unite many of his original pieces, as most have been dispersed between private collections.
Anderson began his foray into the art world through charcoal and pencil drawings, and then graduated on to painting through the development of his own methods for production, such as mixing tempera with his own saliva. He also fashioned flexible stylus instruments from small cut pieces of whipped cream containers, which he used alongside sewing needles to create tiny paint dots and striations.
This exhibition focuses primarily on the naissance of Anderson’s career as an artist, during which time his portraits stand out as remarkably meticulous. Anderson’s first paintings each took well over a year for him to finish, speaking to his intense attention to detail, as reflected in the show’s title.
There will be an opening reception celebration Friday, January 26, 2018 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and the exhibition will be on view until Sunday, May 13, 2018.
Press coverage of this exhibition:
Stephen Warde Anderson: One-of-a-Kind Painter Has One-Man Show (WTTW Chicago Tonight)
March 22-May 13, 2018
The work of Philip Carey can be described as colorful, wacky, strange and full of fun. Born in 1942 in Long Beach, Calif., Carey creates art inspired by his dreams and the medical treatments he received between 2004 and 2015. During this period, Carey was diagnosed with heart disease, kidney disease and prostate cancer, and he began collecting the medical ephemera associated with his treatment.
While on dialysis, Carey completed more than 400 drawings on No. 10 envelopes. The experience of dialysis treatment and the time it required—3½ hours a day three times a week for six years—provided the artistic impetus for this “postal art,” which explores “the adventures of mini-Philip,” phobias, “places I would rather be than dialysis,” landscapes, travel and graphics.
Carey’s “Bandage Faces,” actual ornamented and framed bandages gathered from his dialysis treatments, are expressive self-portraits that reflect his moods and feelings while on the dialysis machine. His dream drawings consist of sketches and stories drawn with ink and Prismacolor pencils on 3 x 5-inch Post-It notes. Carey admits, “Dream analysis doesn’t matter to me at all. I really enjoy the fact that things are hiding somewhere in there, and they just happen to come out.”
Carey received a bachelor’s degree in exhibit design from California State University at Long Beach. His recent large-scale work is created from the ephemera of 40 years as an exhibit designer and 10 years as a patient. His life-sized medical self-portrait, Art In My Veins, was recently exhibited at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
The work in this exhibition invites viewers to think about the multiple forms confinement and isolation may take—in Carey’s case, the experience of 3,000 hours of dialysis and more than 25 operations and medical procedures—and their potential to engender artistic output.
February 9-March 18, 2018
Black Voices from the Collection celebrates African-American artists from the 20th century. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings and sculptures by Thornton Dial, Sr., Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Dapper Bruce Lafitte, Dr. Charles Smith, Inez Nathaniel Walker, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack) and Wesley Willis. Showcasing works from Intuit's collection, Black Voices highlights black art and culture, and explores themes of gender, city life, use of recycled materials and civil rights history.
December 22, 2017-March 11, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Curated by Fred C. Fussell
Eddie Owens Martin (1908-1986), who, in his later years, referred to himself as St. EOM, was the creator of Pasaquan. This visionary artist, who had no formal training, reveled in the intuitive creative art process. St. EOM was influenced by many artistic traditions, including Mesoamerican, African and eastern art, but the content of his work was constructed from utopian visions.
Pasaquan is a seven-acre art environment that consists of six major structures, more than 900 feet of painted masonry fence, painted totems, decorative walkways, sculptures, and other art and artifacts in southwest Georgia’s Marion County. Pasaquan is considered among the most important visionary art environments in the United States. Nearly 30 years after the artist’s death—long after the brightly painted masonry had begun to fade literally and figuratively—the Kohler Foundation, the Pasaquan Preservation Society and Columbus State University partnered to bring this extraordinary art environment back to life.
This exhibition features a large selection of never-before-seen original drawings, sculptures, paintings, regalia, adornments and other examples of art by St. EOM. Through the use of original art, informational text panels, and vintage and contemporary photographs, this colorful exhibit tells the incredible story of the life of the creator of Pasaquan.
In the Land of Pasaquan: The Story of Eddie Owens Martin originated from the LaGrange Art Museum, and is made available by the courtesy of Columbus State University, Columbus State University Foundation, Inc., Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia, and through a gift by the Kohler Foundation, Inc.
December 22, 2017-February 6, 2018
Take a blustery stroll through our winter-themed miniature gallery, featuring some of Intuit's holiday pieces. With works from Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Mary Eveland, Clementine Hunter and Frank Signoretti, this is a seasonal peek into the museum's own collection.