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Art & Design

What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present

The first major volume to focus on the broader impact of figurative art in connecting artists and collectives from different generations and regions of the country, What Nerve! reveals a hidden history of American figurative painting, sculpture, and popular imagery. Included are, from Chicago, the Hairy Who (James Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, Karl Wirsum); from California, Funk artists (Jeremy Anderson, Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, Robert Hudson, Ken Price, Peter Saul, Peter Voulkos, William T. Wiley); from Detroit, Destroy All Monsters (Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, Jim Shaw); and from Providence, Forcefield (Mat Brinkman, Jim Drain, Leif Goldberg, Ara Peterson). Created in collaboration with artists from these groups, the historical moments at the core of What Nerve! are linked by work from six artists who profoundly influenced or were influenced by the groups: William Copley, Jack Kirby, Elizabeth Murray, Gary Panter, Christina Ramberg, and H. C. Westermann. Much of the work in this book-including installation photos, exhibition ephemera, and correspondence-is published for the first time.

Selected objects from What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present: