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July 8, 2015

The Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969 Panel Discussion and Book Signing

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce a panel discussion and book signing with Hairy Who artists Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum at 523 West 24th Street on Wednesday, July 8, at 6:30 PM to celebrate the release of The Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969.

Over the course of five collaborative exhibitions in Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, from 1966 to 1969, the Hairy Who represented a break from the dominant forms of image-making. Each artist’s approach was unique, but uniting their work was a shared sensibility — a hallucinatory vision of the human body rendered with cartoonish intensity. In the subsequent decades their work would leave a deep impression on the art of Chicago and beyond.

Much of the Hairy Who’s legacy rests on four self-published books made to accompany their exhibitions. These comic books, as the artists called them, are among the first artist’s books executed in full color, and they are exemplary models of artistic collaboration. The pages teem with unforgettable characters such as Juan Dollar, Poodle Woman, and Lotte Da rendered in energetic lines and intense colors. The artists’ formal inventiveness and penchant for wordplay are on full display in these illustrations. The name of the collective itself is a pun. When the group first formed, the younger members were discussing Harry Bouras, a Chicago artist and critic, and they delightedly riffed on Karl Wirsum’s repeated question “Harry who?”

The Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969 gathers these seminal publications for the first time in a single hardcover volume, reproduced actual-size in full color. Accompanying them are a scholarly essay by Dan Nadel and an extensive archive of Hairy Who posters, exhibition photographs, and ephemera. The book will be published on the occasion of the exhibition What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to Present on view at 502, 522, and 526 West 22nd Street from July 8 through August 14.

For further information, please contact Ted Turner at (212) 243-0200 or

The Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969, Panel Discussion and Book Signing from Matthew Marks Gallery.

Image: Spread from The Portable Hairy Who!, published on the occasion of the first Hairy Who exhibition, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (1966).