Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

Exquisite Corpse

A work made of graphite, with erasure, on off-white wove paper.
© Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Kirl Wirsum.

Image actions

  • A work made of graphite, with erasure, on off-white wove paper.

Date:

1967/68

Artist:

Art Green (American, born 1941); Gladys Nilsson (American, born 1940); Jim Nutt (American, born 1938); Suellen Rocca (American, 1943-2020); and Karl Wirsum (American, 1939-2021)

About this artwork

The so-called cadavre exquis or exquisite corpse, a Surrealist visual game, was created in winter 1925–26, when members of the group gathered in the evenings. If conversation lagged, they invented games to spark the unconscious. The exquisite corpse grew out of one such invention, which reimagined the children’s game of “head, body, legs,” in which each participant adds to a drawing without seeing the preceding contributions, which are hidden by folding the paper. The results are strange, sometimes violent, combinations of images. The Surrealists produced many such drawings (the Art Institute has several; for example, 2018.333, 2018.334, and 2018.335), and these collaborative experiments were profoundly influential. The Chicago-based Hairy Who artists also played the game in the late 1960s, but with more playful results (for example, 2018.684, 2018.685, 2018.686, 2018.687, 2018.688, and 2018.689).

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

The Hairy Who (Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Jim Falconer, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum)

Title

Exquisite Corpse

Origin

United States

Date

1967–1968

Medium

Graphite, with erasure, on off-white wove paper

Dimensions

280 × 230 mm

Credit Line

Gift of the artists

Reference Number

2018.688

Copyright

© Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Kirl Wirsum.

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.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share