The Big Picture: Large Scale Paintings from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s

Open through November 12

When paintings are larger than life size, as opposed to the domestic intimacy generally found in small-scale works, they can dominate a space; they can be awe-inspiring, epic, imposing, and heroic or even evoke a sense of grandeur. These paintings are especially well-suited to the blank backdrops of large gallery walls. Drawn primarily from the ISM Illinois Legacy Collection, this exhibition is a look back at the variety of creative and innovative ways some of Illinois’ finest painters employed large-scale painting during the last quarter of the 20th century.

The Big Picture presents a selection of paintings that explore some of the top stylistic and conceptual approaches to large-scale painting during these three decades featuring both abstract and figurative works. There is an enormous, eight-foot, cartoon-inspired painting by John Spear; a huge, photo-realistic painting  of the artist’s studio by Kenneth Holder; and three of the largest paintings done by Chicago Imagists Ed Pashcke, Roger Brown, and Gladys Nillson. Rounding out the roster of artists selected for the exhibition are: Judith Geichman, Jim Lutes, Jerry Foley, Theodore Halkin, Michiko Itatani, Ellen Lanyon, Rosalyn Schwartz, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, Ray Yoshida, Harold Gregor,  and Chuck Walker.

Curated by Robert Sill, Interim Director of Art and History

Inactive Event by Ray Yoshida
  • Inactive Event by Ray Yoshida
  • The Blue Velveteen Rabbit by John Spear
Visitor Information
502 South Spring Street
(217) 782-7386

Museum: Mon-Sat: 9-4:30, Sun: 12-4:30
Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum: Mon-Sat: 10-4, Sun: 1-4:30
All Facilities Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.