January 7 - December 3, 2006
An early acolyte of influential painter Francis Chapin, Briggs Dyer was originally a painter of the Midwest landscape and Chicago cityscape, working under the realist style known as American Scene painting. After WWII, however, his work changed drastically, and he started painting challenging modernist artworks, always based on the figure, but often with mutilated, obscured or absent features. He was one of the most important painters and teachers in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s, but a terrible struggle with alcoholism ended his life tragically early in 1970, and now his work is not well known outside of a few circles. Paul LaMantia on the other hand is widely known in Chicago for his intense, often excoriating drawings and paintings. A student of Dyer’s at the School of the Art Institute in the ’60s, LaMantia was a daring and wildly inventive young artist who also attracted the attention of Jean Dubuffet, who asked him to come to Paris to swap ideas.
This exhibition will be the first large-scale showing of Dyer’s work since his untimely death and a selection of LaMantia’s rarely seen early drawings, which are outrageous, beautiful and disturbing, will complement Dyer’s paintings and drawings.