New York

H. C. Westermann

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

This exhibition was the most important survey of H. C. Westermann’s work since the artist’s death in 1981. The sculptures and watercolors demonstrate a freshness and a vigorous capacity for self-renewal that is continually challenging.

A pivotal figure in the formative period of the Chicago School, Westermann employed his craftsman’s skills and personal history with a matter-of-fact directness. He brought his imaginative intelligence to bear on a number of lowlife subjects and banal images. His immaculately subjective constructions anticipated the vast expansion of cartoon reality and funky occultism, particularly in the Chicago and California art scenes of the ’60s. Westermann’s achievement, sometimes obscured by his influence, is his work’s metaphysical depth and its continuing relationship to current art.

The artist’s early work looks particularly distinctive in the context of its own

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.