Exhibitions

Welcome to the World of Mr. Imagination

January 9 - April 25, 2015
Free Opening Reception: January 9, 5-8pm

Curated by Martha Henry

Mr I Paintbrush Head

Untitled (portrait paint brush head), Collection of Intuit, Gift of Dorianne and John Venator, 2010.9.2

Intuit is proud to announce the first Chicago retrospective for Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack, 1948-2012), a celebrated artist whose career spanned more than thirty years.

The third of nine children, Warmack was born in Chicago in 1948. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, he spent his free time in his early years making jewelry, decorative objects and other small works from found objects for spending money. In 1978, he was mugged, shot and left to die. During his recovery he had an out of body experience that led him to dedicate himself to a new regenerative art for the people and began to call himself “Mr. Imagination.”

In the mid 1980s he had the first of many exhibitions at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, IL, which lead to a series of exhibitions and commissions, including several House of Blues venues. Mr. Imagination quickly became a nationally recognized public artist. Following the death of his brother in 2001, Warmack moved to Bethlehem, PA, where he continued to produce. In 2008, while he was working on a commission in Florida, Warmack’s home, gallery, collections and art studio were gutted by a fire. Following the fire, Warmack relocated to northwest Atlanta, GA. In his process to heal from the loss of his home and art, he began to incorporate the surviving burned pieces into new sculptures. Mr. Imagination passed away in May of 2012.

Photo © Link Harper, Philadelphia

The exhibition title is taken from a hand-painted sign that hung in the artist’s Chicago studio and reflects the curator’s intention to present a survey of the artist’s career. Telling the story not only of his life in Chicago, included are early experimental pieces, his signature bottle cap work, as well as some of his last works which utilized remnants from the 2008 fire.

Flamboyant and charismatic, Mr. Imagination attracted many photographers who captured him at his home and studio throughout his lifetime. Intuit’s Study Gallery will feature an exhibition of photographs of Mr. Imagination taken by Ron Gordon, dimitre, Link Harper, Cheri Eisenberg, Mark Hauser and others, as well as a virtual tour of the artist’s last studio in Atlanta by dimitre.

Collective Soul: Outsider Art from Chicago Collections

September 19 - December 31, 2014
Bonus: Open December 28 & 29, 11am-6pm

Collective Soul on exhibition at Intuit

Left to Right: School Teacher by William Edmonson, Collection of Karen Lennox Gallery; Untitled No. 865 by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Collection of Stacy and Tim Bruce; Nude Seated in Garden by Drossos Skyllas, Collection of Robert A. Roth

In 1951, Jean Dubuffet’s Anticultural Positions speech at the Arts Club of Chicago brought an awareness of self-taught art to the forefront of the contemporary scene. The impact of this shift has endured, carried forward by those who appreciated the authentic expression found in self-taught art. Trained artists began to seek out and discover Chicago-based self-taught artists like Joseph Yoakum and Lee Godie. Art fairs, institutions and publications emerged, dedicated to the promotion of work by self-taught artists. Curators, galleries and collectors throughout the city came forward to champion this work and continue to do so today. Because of this long standing interest, some of the most important work in the self-taught field resides here in Chicago.

Reflecting the idiosyncratic relationship between art and collector, this survey of outsider art offers an in depth look at how Chicago collectors have and continue to influence this genre. Culled from both established and newer collections, this exhibition will expose viewers to exemplary works from private collections not often seen. Presenting works by Martín Ramírez, Henry Darger, Lee Godie and Bill Traylor hanging amidst clusters of work from artists often overlooked – but of equal quality – such as David Butler, Aldo Piacenza and Lanier Meaders.

FOUND: P.S. Page Me Later

October 3 - December 31, 2014
Bonus: Open December 28 & 29, 11am-6pm

Found Logo red
Page Me LaterOne snowy winter night in Chicago in early 2001, writer and This American Life reporter Davy Rothbart found a note on his windshield meant for someone else — a guy named Mario. Taken by the energy, emotion, and mystery of his find, he decided to create a handmade zine called FOUND, which would collect notes, letters, and photos plucked off the ground and the street, lost and forgotten items found by himself and a range of kindred, curious spirits.

The first issue was published that summer and quickly the annual zine (and its companion website) became an underground phenomenon, “a powerful fix for thinking voyeurs,” as the Boston Globe put it. To help spread word, Davy Rothbart and his brother Peter began a series of ambitious tours, crisscrossing the country, collecting new finds, and recruiting an army of new finders, the Johnny Appleseeds of intriguing litter.

Now, 13 years later, FOUND has received over 50,000 finds, and returns to Intuit to share this treasure trove of hidden gems from its collection: love letters, Post-it® Notes, to-do lists, Polaroids, and audio recordings, each one a hilarious, heartbreaking, and deeply insightful look into what it means to be human.

Found items are the ultimate reality programming, revealing our true nature with a total lack of self-consciousness, each one its own unique blend of magic and mystery, emotion and story. More than anything, these finds remind us that no matter how different we might appear on the outside, our sharpest fears and grandest wishes are universal.

This exhibition will also include the meticulously-crafted handmade boards from early issues of the magazine and a wall of brand-new finds contributed by you as we are inviting visitors to bring their own finds.

Past Perfect: The Art of Eileen Doman

July 11 - September 27, 2014

Curated by Kevin Cole

Lil, Harry and Doris Scene I and II by Eileen Doman

Lil, Harry and Doris Scene I and II by Eileen Doman, 1992, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches (each), Collection of Ellen Hoover and Chas Ray Krider

In 1993, Eileen Doman found herself restless. A suburban housewife whose daughter had just begun school, she decided to take up painting. Having no formal training, she drew inspiration from the works of Amedeo Modigliani and Vincent van Gogh, remembering them from a fieldtrip to the Art Institute at age 15. Doman turned to photographs for subjects – painting relatives, friends, and the occasional pop culture celebrity – captured in time on canvas.

Steve Buscemi by Eileen Doman

Steve Buscemi by Eileen Doman, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of Kimberly Carlson

In a short time, Doman had amassed a large body of work. She joined a local art league which opened doors to exhibitions in Chicago and L.A. By 1994, she was featured at the Outsider Art Fair in New York and was given a solo exhibition at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery later that same year. Doman had become an overnight sensation. She was featured on the CBS television program, Face to Face with Connie Chung and in 2001, the Whitney Museum of American Art acquired her painting, Young Ida.

During this new career, Doman found that maintaining a place in the public eye was challenging and retreated to her painting. Doman worked from the hundreds of collected photographs, creating artistic records of Ida Bell, her stoic, beloved and belated grandmother from rural Kentucky; her mother, Lillian, at age 16 already married and a mother; uncles posed with shiny cars that belonged to others. Time passes, but Doman captures a candid quirkiness that turns ordinary people and events into artistic records of Americana.

Now, more than 20 years later, Intuit is proud to welcome this extraordinary painter back to Chicago. Doman’s art, captured through the prism of a modern primitive style and witty intelligence, often presents unanswered questions, offers a quirky glimpse at the past, and provides an artistic satisfaction that is enduring.

2014 Teacher Fellowship Program Exhibition

June 7 - 28, 2014
Free Opening Reception: June 7, 1-4pm

Opening reception will include refreshments and family art activities.

Intuit's Teacher Fellowship Program Exhibition
Intuit proudly presents the work of students participating in Intuit’s 2013-2014 Teacher Fellowship Program. Inspired by self-taught and outsider art, students transform found materials and non-traditional materials to reflect their own visions. Teachers and students represented in the exhibition are from ten participating Chicago Public Schools.

Schools represented in this exhibition are Avalon Park Elementary School, Columbus Elementary School, Farragut Career Academy High School, Henry D. Lloyd Elementary School, Nettelhorst Elementary School, New Sullivan Elementary School, Legacy Elementary School, Mary Lyon Elementary School, John M. Palmer Elementary School and James N. Thorp Elementary School.