Hairy Who

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Announcement for Gladys Nilsson exhibition at the Candy Store Gallery. Courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles.
Exhibition announcement for the Candy Store Gallery, including artists Roy De Forest, Gladys Nilsson, and James (Jim) Nutt. Courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles.

decade

1930s

1938

Jim Nutt is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

1939

Karl Wirsum is born in Chicago.

decade

1940s

1940

Gladys Nilsson is born in Chicago.

mid-1940s 1947

Karl Wirsum attends Saturday classes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a child.

decade

1950s

early 1950s 1951

Gladys Nilsson receives a scholarship to attend junior school classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.

1950s 1952

Jim Nutt attends high school in St. Louis.

1954–58 1954

Gladys Nilsson attends Lake View High School in Chicago, where she minors in art.

late 1950s 1956

Jim Nutt briefly attends college at the University of Kansas, then the University of Pennsylvania, then Washington University in St. Louis. He eventually settles on the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he meets his future wife, Gladys Nilsson.

1957

Karl Wirsum is awarded a full ride to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

1958–62 1958

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt meet at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which they both attend.

decade

1960s

1961

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt get married.

1961

Karl Wirsum earns his BFA from SAIC.

1962–92 1962

Roy De Forest often hangs out at Adeliza McHugh’s Candy Store Gallery, where Nut artists and Hairy Who artists gather.

1964

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt begin teaching children’s classes at Hyde Park Art Center.

1965

Five recent SAIC graduates including Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum coin the term Hairy Who while working on a title for their group exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center. The name is in reference to Chicago radio station WFMT’s art critic Harry Bouras.

1965

Jim Nutt earns his BFA from SAIC.

late 1960s 1965

Don Baum recommends that Karl Wirsum be included in the exhibition Jim Nutt has proposed for the Hyde Park Art Center.

1966

The first Hairy Who exhibition opens at the Hyde Park Art Center and includes work from Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum.

1967

The Hairy Who group, including Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum, have their second exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center.

1968

Exhibition announcement for the Candy Store Gallery, including artists Roy De Forest, Gladys Nilsson, and James (Jim) Nutt. Courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles.

1968

Jim Nutt is offered an assistant professor of art job at Sacramento State College (now California State University, Sacramento). Gladys Nilsson and Nutt agree to move to California for two years.

1968

Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum are included in the exhibition Now! Hairy Who Makes You Smell Good at the Hyde Park Art Center. It travels to the San Francisco Art Institute.

1969

Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum are included in the group exhibition Don Baum Says: "Chicago Needs Famous Artists" at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

1969

Gladys Nilsson has a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute's Clay Street Gallery.

1960s–70s 1969

Adeliza McHugh’s Candy Store Gallery (1962–92) in Folsom, California, becomes an important place for Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt to show and mingle with Funk artists like Roy De Forest.

1969–72 1969

Jim Nutt has solo exhibitions at the Candy Store Gallery.

decade

1970s

1970

Gladys Nilsson and Karl Wirsum are included in the group exhibition Surplus Slop from the Windy City at the San Francisco Art Institute. Wirsum creates a poster for the exhibition.

1970

Jim Nutt is included in the group exhibition Three Famous Artists from Chicago at the Candy Store Gallery.

1970–2005 1970

Stephen Kaltenbach teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where Jim Nutt and Karl Wirsum also teach.

1970

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt discuss their initial impressions of Adeliza McHugh and the importance of the Candy Store Gallery in the Bay Area art community. Interview for Candy Store Film Project by Laurence Campling, 2012.

1971

Announcement for Gladys Nilsson exhibition at the Candy Store Gallery. Courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles.
Jim Nutt, She Seams Up Set, 1971. Acrylic on paper; sheet: 7 ¾ × 7 in. (19.7 × 17.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Gerald S. Elliott, 1989.1. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1971

Gladys Nilsson has a solo show at the Candy Store Gallery

1971

Jim Nutt is included in the two-person exhibition Raid and the Shutterbug: Jim Nutt and Roger Vail

1971

Karl Wirsum moves to the West to escape the Chicago Imagists’ newfound fame. During this time he teaches at Sacramento State College.

1970s 1971

Karl Wirsum meets Roy De Forest in California and feels an “affinity” for his work.

1972

Gladys Nilsson, The Big Green Man, 1972. Acrylic on canvas; canvas: 84 7/8 × 72 7/8 in. (215.6 × 185.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Peter W. Broido, 1985.29. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1972

Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum are included in the group exhibition Chicago Imagist Art at MCA Chicago.

1974

Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

1975

Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute.

1970s 1975

Karl Wirsum teaches at SAIC. Aaron Curry cites Wirsum as an important figure for him.

1976

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt move back to Chicago.

1978

Karl Wirsum, Icabod Cranes His Neck in Plumb Thumb Bumper Tag, 1978. Airbrushed acrylic on canvas; canvas: 35 × 25 7/8 × ¾ in. (91.4 × 65.7 × 1.9 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of The Robert A. Lewis Fund in honor of William and Polly Levey, 1982.9. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

decade

1980s

1981

Karl Wirsum has a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago titled Hare Toddy Kong Tamari: Selected Objects by Karl Wirsum.

1987

Gladys Nilsson has a solo show at the Candy Store Gallery.

decade

1990s

1990

Gladys Nilsson accepts a teaching position at SAIC.

1994

Gladys Nilsson is incuded in the Hyde Park Art Center's 55th Anniversary Exhibition.

1999

Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at MCA Chicago titled Jim Nutt: Portraits.

decade

2000s

2000

Aaron Curry attends SAIC and receives his BFA in 2002 alongside friend and classmate Sterling Ruby. Curry fondly remembers teachers Barbara Rossi and Karl Wirsum.

decade

2010s

2011

Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at MCA Chicago titled Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character. It is accompanied by Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion, which included works by Nutt, Aaron Curry, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum.

2015

Aaron Curry, Gladys Nilsson, and Jim Nutt are included in the group exhibition Surrealism: The Conjured Life at MCA Chicago.

2017

Aaron Curry organizes the group exhibition Press your space face close to mine, featuring Karl Wirsum, at The PIT in Los Angeles.

2018

Roy De Forest, Gladys Nilsson, and Jim Nutt are included in the group exhibition The Candy Store at Parker Gallery in Los Angeles.

2018

Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum are included in the group exhibition Hairy Who? 1966–1969 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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