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 exhibit premiered at Intuit from June 29, 2018-January 6, 2019, in Chicago. The exhibition tours to Halle Saint Pierre (Paris, March 23-August 2, 2019), Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren (Kaufbeuren, Germany, October 10, 2019-January 26, 2020), Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne, March 13-August 30, 2020) and Outsider Art Museum (Amsterdam, October 7, 2020-May 24, 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.
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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.