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favorite this post 2/24-3/9: Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago (Elmhurst) hide this posting unhide

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ED PASCHKE & JIM NUTT AMONG FEATURED ARTISTS IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF KINGS AND QUEENS: PINBALL, IMAGISTS AND CHICAGO AT ELMHURST ART MUSEUM

February 25 -- May 7, 2017

Play pinball on vintage machines surrounded by art inspired by it

Elmhurst Art Museum proudly presents the World Premiere of Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago, an examination of the intertwined history of two of Chicago's greatest exports: pinball and imagist painting. Curated by New York's Dan Nadel, this interactive exhibition invites guests to play pinball on Chicago-built pinball machines from the 1960s, '70s and '80s--including machines produced by Elmhurst's Gottlieb family --alongside paintings, sculptures and prints inspired by them, including works by Roger Brown, Ed Flood, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida. The exhibition will be on display from February 25 -- May 7, 2017.

Most of the world's finest pinball machines were made in Chicago's North Side factories, and many of those were produced by Elmhurst residents, the Gottlieb family. As those machines reached the apex of pictorial and engineering ingenuity, the artists now known as the Imagists and the Hairy Who were finding their unique visual style with inspiration from many vernacular sources including the arcades and Riverview Park. Pinball provided inspiration with its high contrast coloration, absurd juxtapositions and ultra-flat forms. Pinball was but one inspiration for these artists, along with the city's many color storefronts and the enormously popular Riverview Park. This exhibition also contains photographs of Chicago in those years, as recorded by some of these same artists.

"I saw the 2011 Jim Nutt retrospective at the MCA when I was in town for a conference and it was a revelation (with no idea I would be living in Chicago a few years later)," says Elmhurst Art Museum Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs. "Ed Paschke is really the only one of this group of artists who is known outside Chicago. The colors, the super-flat characters and the use of reverse-painted Plexiglas as a support stuck with me. Flash-forward a few years to Elmhurst Art Museum and a family vacation in Vegas. It is 108 degrees and we are looking for the coolest, darkest family-friendly place we can find. That would be the Pinball Hall of Fame, which was the site of an epiphany when I learned that all of the great artwork and machines came from Chicago. The real a-ha moment came when I stood looking at a row of Gottlieb machines with artwork by Roy Parker and saw the ancestry of Jim Nutt's imagery. When I learned that the Gottlieb family was from Elmhurst I knew this show was meant to be here. Dan Nadel is the perfect guy to round out the scholarly edges of this new area of art historical discovery."

"The Chicago Imagists are a group of 1960s artists who used the language of vernacular commercial art to make highly personal imagery." says curator Dan Nadal. "Pinball has deep roots in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, where many manufacturers and designers were located around the same time. Ed Paschke, one of the great post-Pop American painters, was part of what came to be known as The Chicago Imagist painters. Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago is a unique opportunity to experience two great Chicago products together in a single space."

A selection of the imagist pieces featured in Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago are on loan courtesy of the Elmhurst College. The Elmhurst College art collection is a collection of works by Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist artists focusing on artists working in Chicago between about 1950 and the present. The full collection is housed in the A.C. Buehler Library on the Elmhurst College campus.

Public Programs
Members Preview of Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago
Friday, February 24 - 7pm
A preview of the exhibition Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago. Open to members, donors and guests of exhibiting artists. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Panel with Dan Nadel, Curator of "Kings and Queens" and Suellen Rocca, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Elmhurst College
Saturday, February 25 - 1pm

Kings and Queens Exhibition & Elmhurst College Collection Highlights tour with Sullen Rocca
Saturday, March 18 - 1:30pm
Hosted at the Elmhurst Art Museum & Elmhurst College A.C. Buehler Library

Film Screening "Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists" at the Elmhurst College
Friday, March 31 - 6pm
Film screening of the documentary "Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists" at Illinois Hall at Elmhurst College. Suellen Rocca, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Elmhurst College, will be providing a brief introduction and, following the screening, a tour of the Elmhurst College Imagist Art Collection.

Talk with Suellen Rocca, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Elmhurst College
Friday, April 21 - 6pm

Kings and Queens Exhibition & Elmhurst College Collection Highlights tour with Suellen Rocca
Saturday, April 29 - 1:30pm
Hosted at the Elmhurst Art Museum & Elmhurst College A.C. Buehler Library

Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago reveals a new view of both the city and some of its finest exports with major works on loan courtesy of the Illinois State Museum, Elmhurst College and the Roger Brown Study Collection.

About Elmhurst Art Museum
Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst (IL), 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). The Museum is both an international destination for Mies van der Rohe scholars and fans and a regional center where people from Chicago and the western suburbs learn to see and think differently through the study of the art, architecture and design of our time.
The Museum is one block from the Elmhurst Metra station and open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 AM-- 5 PM (7 PM on Fridays). Admission is $9 ($8 for seniors) and free for students and children under 18.
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