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A colored pencil and chalk drawing of wavy machine parts on a red gridded background. The machine fades from blue to orange to pink and green, with some parts ending in bulbous knobs with metal patched onto the protruding parts. A colored pencil and chalk drawing of wavy machine parts on a red gridded background. The machine fades from blue to orange to pink and green, with some parts ending in bulbous knobs with metal patched onto the protruding parts.

Four Chicago Artists: Theodore Halkin, Evelyn Statsinger, Barbara Rossi, and Christina Ramberg

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2024

A colored pencil and chalk drawing of wavy machine parts on a red gridded background. The machine fades from blue to orange to pink and green, with some parts ending in bulbous knobs with metal patched onto the protruding parts.

Theodore Halkin. Untitled, 1968. Gift of Daniel Halkin and Sylvia Halkin in memory of Theodore Halkin.


CHICAGO—The Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to announce Four Chicago Artists: Theodore Halkin, Evelyn Statsinger, Barbara Rossi, and Christina Ramberg on view from May 11–August 26, 2024. Gathering together 95 drawings, sketchbooks, prints, photograms, quilts, paintings, and ephemera from these four iconic Chicago artists, this exhibition will showcase how their lives intersected across generations to shape the visual culture of our city. 

Chicago experienced an explosion of resident artists after World War II, yet the city did not have the commercial gallery network to support them. This allowed local artists to be more creative about where to show their work without competing with each other for space. These circumstances fostered a communal spirit that spanned generations. Despite the 20-year separation between Theodore “Ted” Halkin and Evelyn Statsinger, and the generation of Barbara Rossi and Christina Ramberg, each of these artists shared a commitment to personal authenticity and a talent for inventing original, imaginative compositions inspired by the world around them. 

“All the artists in this exhibition studied at the School of the Art Institute, where the faculty guided them to use the city and its cultural institutions to enlarge their basis for expression,” said Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator, Prints and Drawings. 

While formally educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, all of these artists were informally inspired by the city’s cultural resources—from the Field Museum to Maxwell Street Market. This led each of them to develop highly unique practices. The resulting works are as visionary as they are true to feeling, centering the transformation of shape, line, and color into otherwise incommunicable meaning. On a material level, these values translated into pieces that reworked found and imagined sources into new forms—from Rossi’s use of dish rags to evoke hair ringlets, to Halkin’s reconfiguration of architectural landscapes to make fantastical worlds, to Statsinger’s experimental patterns, and Ramberg’s unique lens that could turn a corset into an urn. 

This show is complemented by the concurrently running Christina Ramberg: A Retrospective, the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the iconic Chicago artist in more than 30 years.

Four Chicago Artists: Theodore Halkin, Evelyn Statsinger, Barbara Rossi, and Christina Ramberg is curated by Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator, Prints and Drawings; Stephanie Strother, research associate, Prints and Drawings; and Kathryn Cua, curatorial assistant, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

Sponsors

Major support for Four Chicago Artists is provided by

Statsingercohenfoundation Logoblack 2

Additional support is provided by David R. Selmer and Nancy R. Cass and an anonymous donor.

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