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Gladys Nilsson

Gladys Nilsson

Gladys Nilsson. Courtesy of Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists: chicagoimagists.com

Hairy Who in Chicago

Gladys Nilsson was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1940. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is one of the six members of the Hairy Who along with her husband, Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum, Jim Falconer, Art Green, and Suellen Rocca.

Artistic Style and Works

Nilsson’s work is highly detailed and meticulous. She is prolific in a variety of media, including paintings and collage, but she is best known for her colorful watercolors. Her most common subjects are whimsical, playful, and elongated figures, which often fill the entire composition.

Exhibitions and Collections

Phyllis Kind began representing both Gladys and Jim Nutt in 1969 and, in 1973, Gladys became the first member of the Hairy Who and one of the first ever female artists to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Her work is in the permanent collections of museums across the world including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and the Yale University Art Gallery. She is currently a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Gladys Nilsson
Gladys Nilsson