The Image Pool

Opening: Thursday, Mar 14, 2024 6 – 8 pm
Thursday, Mar 14 – Aug 4, 2024

935 W Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

The Image Pool explores works in DePaul Art Museum’s collection typically described as “folk,” “self-taught,” “outsider,” or “intuitive,” due to their creators’ seeming distance from the institutional sanctions of art schools, museums, galleries, and mainstream commercial success. Intentionally problematizing the insider/outsider distinction, this exhibition instead frames these works as exemplary of what it means to be a contemporary artist rather than an exception.

The six artists on view—Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Mr. Imagination, Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly, June Wayne, Derek Webster, Joseph Yoakum—do not neatly fit into pre-made categories. Some, such as Yoakum, took up drawing later in life and was soon championed by established artists for his imaginative landscapes depicting all the places to which the artist had supposedly traveled. Others, such as Von Bruenchenhein, produced thousands of works in various media over decades that failed to capture the attention of gallerists and collectors before his death. Wayne, by contrast, achieved recognition at an early age despite dropping out of high school to pursue art and would later become one of the most important American printmakers of the 20th century. All, however, asserted themselves as artists—culling aesthetic material from personal and imagined histories, the ambient culture, and the detritus of the modern world—in spite of the institutions and infrastructure that still to this day value pedigree, training, and financial success above all else.