Smoke Hairy Who


Images from a comic book by the Hairy Who, courtesy of Dan Nadel:

Dan is selling a copy of this 1968 uber-rarity signed by member Karl Wirsum.

01 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

02 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

03 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

04 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

05 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

06 Hairy Who Comic Book, 1968

In the Ganzfeld 3, Dan Nadel assembled a 40-page overview of the Hairy Who, interviewing four of its six members. It’s a perfect introduction to an amazing collective and I suggest coughing up your $10 before it’s gone (published in 2003). From the intro:

The bare facts are these: “Hairy Who” was originally the name of a 1966 group exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. When that group, all graduates of the Art Institute of Chicago, mounted more shows, they kept the name…. The Hairy Who consisted of just six artists: Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nelson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum. There were other quirkily named group shows at the Hyde Park Art Center and elsewhere, some with various members of the Hairy Who and other Chicago artists of similar bents (Roger Brown and Christina Ramberg, for example), but the Hairy Who was limited to just…five shows and six participating artists. As installations, the shows were artworks unto themselves, and were accompanied by inexpensive comic book format publications for which the group did their own color separations and either produced new work or adapted preexisting images. The group dissolved when the members began to move away from the city; first Jim Nutt and Gladys Nilsson to California in 1968 and then Art Green to Canada in 1969. All of the members remain active in the arts.

Also see: A look at Karl Wirsum’s drawings

Highly recommended: Winsome Works (Some)

Also see: Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character exhibit

Will Schofield is the editor of 50 Watts (original name: A Journey Round My Skull) and Writers No One Reads. More from this author →