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Suellen Rocca

Suellen Rocca


September 14 - October 27, 2018
526 W 22 Street
Opening Thursday, September 13, 6 – 8 PM

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Suellen Rocca Drawings, the next exhibition in his gallery at 526 West 22nd Street.

Suellen Rocca is one of the original members of the Hairy Who, the influential group of six Chicago artists who exhibited together for five years in the 1960s. This show, the first to concentrate on Rocca’s works on paper, presents thirty drawings she made between 1981 and 2017. Building on the unique graphic vocabulary and innovative compositions of her 1960s work, these drawings represent a turn toward imagery she describes as “more internal.” Animals, trees, and unclassifiable creatures are placed in densely patterned settings that carry a genuine emotional charge.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. In the essay, Cat Kron notes Rocca’s “increased attention to the unconscious,” tracing parallels between the artist’s “anxious imaginings” and the automatic drawing of the Surrealists. As Rocca puts it, “I just begin, and the drawing is a journey between me and the marks on the paper.”

Suellen Rocca was born in Chicago in 1943 and currently lives in Romeoville, Illinois. Shortly after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1964, she began showing her paintings, drawings, and sculptures alongside those of her fellow Hairy Who members. The group’s exhibitions drew national and international attention and went on to influence generations of artists. In 2016, Matthew Marks Gallery presented Rocca’s first one-person exhibition in New York, “Suellen Rocca: Bare Shouldered Beauty, Works from 1965 to 1969.” Her work will be featured in the exhibition “Hairy Who? 1966–1969”, the first major survey of the group’s work, which opens at the Art Institute of Chicago on September 26.

Suellen Rocca Drawings is on view at 526 West 22nd Street from September 14 to October 27, 2018, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

For additional information, please contact Ted Turner at 212-243-0200 or

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Suellen Rocca