Author(s): Dan Nadel
This is the first complete presentation of the artists' books, posters, prints and ephemera produced by The Hairy Who (Chicago, 1966-69), which was composed of Jim Falconer (born 1943), Art Green (born 1941), Gladys Nilsson (born 1940), Jim Nutt (born 1938), Suellen Rocca (born 1943) and Karl Wirsum (born 1939). Over the course of five exhibitions in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC, The Hairy Who represented a de facto rebuke to the chilly ironies of Pop and forged new ways of crafting figurative painting. As likely to use Plexiglas as canvas and employing a language based on verbal confusion, visual puns and an almost ecstatic use of line and color, the members of the Hairy Who produced publications, posters and even buttons, and their exhibitions were immersive environments unequalled at the time. The Hairy Who has enjoyed a renewed popularity recently, thanks to a documentary film and multiple exhibitions by the contributing artists. This publication presents all of the printed works related to the Hairy Who exhibitions--important documents in the history of contemporary art and artists' books. Formatted like comic books, they are among the very first full-color self-published artists' books, containing work made especially for publication. Studying these works is important to an understanding of post-1960s art and artists' books.