Private Eye: The Imagist Impulse in Chicago Art

Friday, May 21 – Dec 5, 2021

4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208

In the mid-1960s, a cadre of adventurous young artists began exhibiting at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.  With myriad influences from Surrealism and non-Western art to comic books and popular culture, their audacious, highly idiosyncratic, and personal approach set them apart from contemporaries working on either the East or West Coast.  By the mid-1970s, this loose-knit assembly was commonly referred to as the Imagists. Now, more than 50 years after their first appearance, the Chicago Imagists are regarded as among the most important postwar American artists. 

Private Eye: The Imagist Impulse in Chicago Art is focused on works by artists who comprise the original Imagist exhibition groups along with independent artists who shared their iconoclastic sensibility.  Also featured will be works by Chicago-based artists from the preceding generation, known as the Monster Roster, and a complementary selection of younger, Imagist-influenced artists.

The exhibition is drawn entirely from the collection of Drs. Michael Robertson and Christopher Slapak, one of the most comprehensive private collections of Chicago Imagist art, which has been promised to the IMA with some pieces already donated to the Museum.