Gladys Nilsson: Out of This World
at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
June 27, 2020–February 21, 2021
A founding member of the Hairy Who—a group of six alumni from the Art Institute of Chicago who staged a series of collective, intrepid exhibitions beginning in 1966 at the Hyde Park Art Center—Gladys Nilsson (b. 1940 in Chicago, IL, where she continues to live and work) is widely regarded as a master in watercolor, a medium the artist has explored in depth for over fifty years. In the 1960s and early 1970s, she produced acrylic paintings on plexiglas and canvas, before returning to the medium with vigor in recent years. Her paintings employ the same sharp sense of humor and cheeky character studies that characterize her broader oeuvre. Drawing equally from her daily observations and popular culture, the artist’s dynamic compositions—exquisitely rendered in delicate pools of lush color—are densely populated with a multitude of attenuated figures ranging widely in scale. Teeming with humor and activity, her works examine themes of sexuality and gender, often depicting diverse characters performing a range of domestic rituals or alternately engaging in acts of explicit voyeurism.
In 1973, Nilsson was among the first women to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Since then, her work has been exhibited widely, and is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others.
Parker Gallery will present its first solo exhibition with the artist in Fall 2020.