Covering five decades and featuring 100 full-color plates, this beautiful volume is Chicago painter Gladys Nilsson’s (born 1940) most comprehensive monograph to date. Though Nilsson is better known for the watercolors she began exhibiting in the mid-1960s as an original member of the Hairy Who, she has dedicated much of her career to painting in acrylic.
This monograph begins with her 1960s paintings on panel and Plexiglas, then considers her 1970s paintings on canvas, including the seven-foot-high Dipped Dick: Adam and Eve after Cranach, whose title characters are surrounded by a menagerie of cavorting plants and animals. The book finishes with her vivid recent paintings, which are jam-packed with characters. As Nilsson describes her approach, “I would draw a big figure, but that figure always needed another figure, and then those two figures needed a third to interact with. And then, before I knew it, the whole place would be teeming.”