September 14 - November 11, 2012


Paige K. Johnston, Thea Liberty Nichols , Dahlia Tulett-Gross (curators)


Afterimage considers the influence of the Imagist legacy on contemporary artists who are of a generation after Imagism, but—in ways both visual and ideological—have moved through and beyond it. This installation is part of a series of Afterimage exhibitions simultaneously on view at venues across Chicago, including the Roger Brown Study Collection, Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, and the DePaul Art Museum.

In the only side-by-side comparison of Imagist and contemporary artworks throughout Afterimage, the works on display here include comics, zines, artists’ books, monographs, and ephemera that explore the impact and manipulation of popular culture by multiple generations of artists.

The Imagists were a group of artists associated with the School of the Art Institute in the late 1960s. Their work was largely interested in articulating an image’s inventive narrative and personalized symbolism. Combining directness and discontinuity, Imagist artworks simultaneously evoke a sense of the immediate with the uncanny.

The influence of commercial advertising and design on the artwork of the Imagists was enormous, and several of the artists freelanced at local magazines such as Playboy (including Ed Paschke and Karl Wirsum). Comic strips, cartoons and animation, such as Basil Woolverton’s MAD Magazine illustrations and Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy strip, were also a source of inspiration. In fact, a series of exhibitions in the late 1960s entitled the “Hairy Who,” generated the exhibition catalog comic books on display to accompany their shows as a cheeky send-up of typical exhibition catalogues.

In each instance, although the Imagists were initially influenced by these various disciplines, the artists went on to exert major influence over them, from the underground “comix” movement (which differentiated itself from mainstream comics by emphasizing their X-rating), to alternative comics (such as RAW, which was independently produced and published).

Like the Imagists before them, the subsequent generations of artists on view have continued to push and popularize this media. While initially aimed almost exclusively at children and teens, by incorporating brash imagery, subversive humor and longer form writing, these artists’ contributed to forever altering the form and content of the comic genre. And since these artists de-emphasized the abundance, affordability and transitory nature of this media, they’ve impacted how fellow artists, as well as viewers and institutions, value these materials.

Whether its through heavy linework, sophomoric word play, vivid coloration, collaborative “jam” comics, or synesthetic approaches to sequential drawing (as evidenced by the animated shorts included in our film programming), each artist in Afterimage brings his or her own unique approach to bear on the look and style of the graphic, illustrative and comic art work on view.

Table Of Contents


- 4 Hairy Who comics

- 2 False Image posters (matted side-by-side, 18 1/16” x 22”) needs framing

- 9 decals


Bailliwik Issues 1 (2005), 5 (2007), 6 (2008), Surabhi Ghosh, 11.73 

Wonderfool World, David Sandlin, 11.77

Ruckus rodeo, Red Grooms, 35.3 (Storage)

Swell, Lilli Carré, 58.47

Destroy All Monsters Magazine, 80.7

Hot Potatoe, Marc Bell, 80.22

Jimmy Corrigan : the smartest kid on earth, Chris Ware, 97.1

My Dreams Have Been Quite Strange Lately, Lilli Carré101.37

Red, Ruby Red, Lilli Carré, 102.15

Liquid Suck, Paul Nudd, Zine 8.15

Nog A Dod: Prehistoric Canadian Psychedooolia, 107.13

Dirty Dishes, Amy Lockhart107.14

The Gocco Set, Onsmith Comics, 110.21

Ms. Malone kept her eye on the sea, for fear she'd miss something psetacular, Lilli Carré, 113.81

Daylight to Dark: sculptures from Fred Smith's Concrete Park, Lilli Carré, 113.91

Jumbo, Gary Panter, 117.7

Green Love or green head, Paul Nudd, Zine 8.18

Postcards from Sinland, David Sandlin, 122.74 

Facetasm, Gary Panter, 127.65

Öyvind Fahlström i etern : manipulera världen : Fåglar i Sverige, Den helige Torsten Nilsson, bilder & manuskript = Öyvind Fahlström on the air : manipulating the world : Birds in Sweden, the Holy Torsten Nilsson, pictures & manuscripts, Teddy Hultberg, 2400.8

Burning [ring] of fire cycle, David Sandlin, 2700.8

Rusty Brown : lunchbox storybook and plot reminder, Chris Ware, Z5.4

McSweeney's 33: the San Francisco Panorama, Z15.9

Hairy Who, Hairy Who, RA 2.591

Raw: high culture for low brows, vol.2, no.3, Penguin Books, RA 2.594

Read Yourself Raw, Pantheon Books, RA 3.111

Claptrap, Onsmith, Zine 1.65

Ray Johnson Correspondences, Donna de Salvo, Catherine Gudis, ABR N 6537 .J63 A4 1999 

Winsome Work(some), Karl Wirsum, ABR N 6537.W57 A4 2007




Paige K. Johnston, Thea Liberty Nichols , Dahlia Tulett-Gross (curators), “Afterimage
,” SAIC Flaxman Library & Special Collection Exhibitions, accessed August 17, 2019,