Catch This Trio of Bold Art Shows Electrifying the Fall Exhibition Circuit

By Thomas Connors | September 14, 2018 | Culture

Three art shows kick off the fall cultural season with a serious dose of in-your-face style.

Break a Rule: Ed Paschke’s Art and Teaching

Ed Paschke’s Fem-Verde, a color lithograph from 1987

Judging by his own boldly unsettling images, Ed Paschke must have been one wild and woolly teacher. And the only way one could go wrong in his class would be to be afraid of doing things wrong. The Block Museum’s Break a Rule: Ed Paschke’s Art and Teaching takes a look at his pedagogical prowess during his years at Northwestern. An artist who favored out-of-the-mainstream subjects (strippers, burlesque dancers, lucha libre wrestlers) and an eye-busting color palette, Paschke urged his students to be disruptive, joyful and open to “every manner of humanity.” Sept. 18-Dec. 9

The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960- 1980

Carolyn Lawrence, Uphold Your Men, 1971, Screenprint on wove paper. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of David Lusenhop in honor of the artist, 2013.7.

Forget the Brie and chardonnay. The Smart Museum exhibit The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960-1980 kicks off with something much better: Celebrating South Side Stories, a Sept. 15 art, music and food fest held in conjunction with Art Design Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Hyde Park Art Center, South Side Community Art Center and other venues. “We’ll also offer experiences at noninstitutional sites, like a home tour organized by Diasporal Rhythms and film screenings by South Side Projections,” says Michael Christiano, the Smart’s deputy director and curator of public practice. Once you’ve enjoyed the celebration, dive into the show itself, a dynamic exploration of the way artists from Bronzeville to Woodlawn met the world head on. Sept. 13-Dec. 30

Hairy Who? 1966-1969

Suellen Rocca. Bare Shouldered Beauty and the Pink Creature, 1965. The Art Institute of Chicago, Frederick W. Renshaw Acquisition and Carol Rosenthal-Groeling Purchase funds. © Suellen Rocca.

In 1966, a group of young artists, doing their thing, gave the local art scene a jolt with work that was crass, irreverent and gaudy. The Art Institute of Chicago gives this gang a good look with Hairy Who? 1966-1969. Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca and Karl Wirsum embraced low culture and the banal, producing work that was loud in every way, from the color palette to an anatomy-loving naughtiness. “The artists didn’t attempt to shock, but their work was disobedient in very inventive, emotive and irreverent ways. They absolutely took Chicago by storm,” says curator Mark Pascale. Cruder than pop and often wonderfully perverse, these images—a testament to Chicago’s go-your-own-way ethos— remain eye-poppingly fresh. Sept. 27-Jan. 6

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