• June 7, 2018, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Revolutionary Imagination: Chicago Surrealism from Object to Activism

Cochrane Woods Art Center, University of Chicago

5540 S Greenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637

Exhibition detail featuring assemblages by Robert Green, Gallery Bugs Bunny, 524 Eugenie St., November-December 1968. Photo: Alan Koss

This day-long series of conversations at the University of Chicago explores the artistic practices used by Chicago surrealist artists beginning in 1966, following a formative trip to Paris by the young activists Penelope and Franklin Rosemont.  

Through a series of lectures and first-hand accounts, international scholars and historical practitioners of Surrealism will examine the movement's story in Chicago and its countercultural legacy.

10:00 am Introductions by Janine Mileaf (Executive Director, The Arts Club of Chicago) and Jennifer Cohen (Art History, University of Chicago)

10:30 am Panel, moderated by Jennifer Wild (Cinema & Media Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago) 

  • “Surrealism in Chicago and the International Context of Surrealism,” by Michael Richardson (Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths)

  • “The Aesthetics and Politics of the Chicago Surrealist Critique of Work in the 1960s and 70s,” by Abigail Susik (Art History, Willamette University)

  • “Critical Theory and Practice: Marcuse between Paris and Chicago,” by Michael Stone-Richards (Critical Theory and Visual Studies, College for Creative Studies)

  • “Hystericizing Surrealism in Chicago,” by Joanna Pawlik (Art History, University of Sussex)

  • “Poetry Will Be Made by All Animals: Ecology in the Surrealist Group of Chicago,” by Kristoffer Noheden (Media Studies, Stockholm University)

1:30 pm “‘Black Snake Crawling in My Room’: Surrealism and the Blues,” by Paul Garon (Blues and the Poetic Spirit, City Lights, 2001)

2:00 pm Roundtable discussion featuring participants and friends of the Chicago surrealist movement, including:

  • Moderator: Rebecca Zorach (Art History, Northwestern University)

  • Participants: Penelope Rosemont,Ron Sakolsky, Winston Smith, Myrna Bell Rochester,and V. Vale

The program is followed by the opening reception for A Home for Surrealism: Fantastic Painting in Midcentury Chicago at The Arts Club of Chicago at 6:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.