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The Trogens

A work made of acrylic on plexiglas, in artist's painted frame.
© Gladys Nilsson

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  • A work made of acrylic on plexiglas, in artist's painted frame.




Gladys Nilsson
American, born 1940

About this artwork

Included in the 1967 Hairy Who? exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center, The Trogens is a rare and important early example of reverse painting on Plexiglas— a trademark of the movement. First introduced by Jim Nutt and Karl Wirsum, the approach was adopted by Nilsson, but unlike her contemporaries, she did not execute the work from finished drawings; instead she favored an improvised mode of painting. The Trogens exemplifies Nilsson’s penchant for the absurd, utilizing the human figure as exaggerated form. Reflecting her interest in the themes of hidden realities, the work recalls the iconic story of the Trojan horse from Homer’s The Odyssey, suggesting that artifice can belie true meaning and that things are not always as they appear.


On View, Gallery 297


Contemporary Art


Gladys Nilsson


The Trogens


Chicago (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Acrylic on Plexiglas, in artist's painted frame


91.4 × 76.2 cm (36 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Gladys Nilsson in memory of Whitney Halstead

Reference Number



© Gladys Nilsson

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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