Gladys Nilsson, A Cold Mouth, 1968 © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

The first significant exhibition in the UK in almost 40 years of work by the Chicago Imagists.

“Wildly graphic and often eye-poppingly nasty, the nightmarish creations of the Chicago Imagists echo the tumult of their era” – Read The Guardian’s 4* review of the exhibition from Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art here.

“Chuck your soup cans and Marilyn Monroes in the bin: the Imagists are where it’s at” – Read TimeOut London’s 5* review here.

“Rosie Cooper and Sarah McCrory’s stunning retrospective pays homage to an artist group at work beyond the artworld’s centre” – Read Studio International’s review here.

How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s will feature works by Roger Brown, Sarah Canright, Jim Falconer, Ed Flood, Art Green, Phil Hanson, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida.

In the mid-1960s, Chicago saw an explosion of artistic activity centred around a small group of artists who would later become known as the Chicago Imagists. Their distinct and lively visual style would go on to influence some of the most important artists of the 20th century.

Having mostly studied in proximity to one another at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they shared an enthusiasm for Surrealism and Art Brut, comic books, non-Western and ‘self-taught’ artists, commercial advertising and the music, markets, sideshows and architecture of the city they lived in. They learned from teachers at the School of the Art Institute, and in turn their teachers learned from them. The strong bonds developed at art school has kept this group of artists affiliated under the moniker ‘Chicago Imagism’, despite the diversity of their work. This exhibition will focus on their work from the 1960s when they first met, through to the late 1970s, when many of them moved away, stylistically and geographically.

Co-curated by Rosie Cooper (De La Warr Pavilion) and Sarah McCrory (Goldsmiths CCA) the exhibition will feature painting, objects, drawings, prints and ephemera highlighting their individual styles as well as their shared references and moments of connection. How Chicago! will be on display at Goldsmiths CCA from 16 March – 26 May 2019.

Opening day timings

10.30am, Members’ & Patrons’ Tour of How Chicago! – Book here

11am, Members’ and Patrons’ Brunch – Book here

11.30am, Artist & Curator Talk: How Chicago! and Lauren Godfrey – Book here

12 noon, How Chicago! and Lauren Godfrey: Group Hat opens to the public

How Chicago! is organised by Hayward Gallery Touring in collaboration with De La Warr Pavilion and Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art. It is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be published by Hayward Gallery Publishing, including essays by the curators and Lynne Warren, Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and texts on each of the artists.



Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :

Travel information
  • By Rail
    Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
    There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
    Visit for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.