Margaret Wharton

Margaret Wharton (1943-2014) was a highly regarded artist whose work focused on the manipulation of objects that were reconstructed and re-imagined into amazing and through-provoking visions of the world. Her innovation and ingenuity, from her prowess with a bandsaw to her trendsetting temporary installations, has rightfully secured her a place in art history.

Wharton’s interest in art emerged later in life, graduating from SAIC in her 30s in the year 1975. From then on, she was incredibly prolific. She became very involved and influential in the Chicago art scene. Her skill with fragmenting figures and love of double entendre coupled her with the likes of the Chicago Imagists and the Hairy Who, along with whom her work was often displayed. Wharton battled several health issues, including living with bi-polar disorder, which influenced and affected much of her art.

Wharton was included in numerous travelling exhibitions, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1981, Wharton had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Her piece Garden Chair was included in Surrealism: The Conjured Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago curated by Lynne Warren, from November 2015 – June 2016.

 

Odalesque, 1980

Odalesque, 1980

Plastic Falls, temporary installation recorded in 1976

Plastic Falls, temporary installation recorded in 1976

Wharton, Mirage

Mirage, 1987 – Collection of the Art Institute

 


Love Seat Mint Condition, 1997

Love Seat Mint Condition, 1997

Mocking Bird, 1981

Mocking Bird, 1981

One Chair, 1979

One Chair, 1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIRTH AND DEATH
1943

2014

Portsmouth, VA

Chicago, IL

EDUCATION
1975 MFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1965 BS University of Maryland, College Park, MD
HONORS, GRANTS & AWARDS
2013 The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant
1999 Illinois Arts Council Grant
1993 National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1988 National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1984 Award in the Visual Arts
1979 National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1972 Founding Member, Artemisia Cooperative Gallery, Chicago, IL
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2016

2014

2012

The Magic of Margaret Wharton, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

In Memoriam, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

Wharton’s World, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

2011 Constructions, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2010 Some Assembly Required: A Margaret Wharton Retrospective, South Shore Arts, Munster, IN
2008 The Baseball Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
SOFA Chicago, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2003 Slicing it Thin, Montalvo, Saratoga, CA
2000 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL;
Rockford College Art Gallery, Rockford, IL
1997 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
1996 Discordant Voices, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
1996 Mixed Media Sculpture, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
1995 Margaret Wharton: Potent Objects/A Survey of Work
1994 Experimental Journey, Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL
1992 Slicing It Thin, Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL
1991, 88,85, 80,76 Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
1990,87, 83,81,79, 78,77 Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, NY
1985 Evanston Art Center, IL (through 1995)
1981-82 Margaret Wharton, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX; University of South Florida Art Galleries, Tampa, FL; Gibbs Art Gallery, Charleston
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2015-16

2015

2014

Surrealism: The Conjured Life, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

Constructed/Deconstructed, Christopher Art Gallery, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL

Winter Blues, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

2013 20 Years of SOFA, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Wild, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2012 Re-Source, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2011 In the House: Sculpture for the Home, NIU Art Museum, DeKalb, IL
The Paper Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Play Ball, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA
2009 Cool! Cool! Cool! Cool!, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Soup to Nuts, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2008 The Baseball Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
SOFA CHICAGO 2008, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Two Thousand Years of Sculpture, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2007 Art Works Chicago, Metropolitan Capital Bank, Chicago, IL
2006 Arts Botanica, Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
2004-5 Painting the Town Red, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004 Out of the Blues, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Some Things Happening: 25 Years of Herron Gallery Exhibits, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, IN
Water World, South Bend Regional Museum of Art, South Bend, IN
2003 The Artful Teapot: 20th Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection, traveling exhibition, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Chicago Artists in the New Millennium, Union League Clue of Chicago, IL
January White Sale, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001 Reflections: 15th Anniversary Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Art Chicago 2001, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
2000 Synthesis, Sonnenscheim Gallery, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL
Biennial, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
Chicago Artists, Okaloosa Walton Community College, NIceville, Fl.
1999 Bookish, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
1998-99 Primary Colors, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
1998 Transpositions; Margaret Wharton and Ellen Lanyon, Adrian College, Adrian, MI
The Book Transformed, Evanston Arts Center, Evanston, IL
A Game of Chance, Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL; Susan Cummings Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
1997 Pink, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
UNBOUND: Art in Bookform/Book as Artform, Herron Gallery, Indianapolis, IN
Galleria Massari, Civiche Gallerie d”Arte, Ferrara, Italy
Bang! The Gun as Image, Florida State University, Fine Art Museum, Tallahassee, FL
1996-97 Art In Chicago 1945 – 1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1996 10th Anniversary Exhibit, Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
A Labor of Love, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Small Wonders, San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
1995 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
1994 A Passionate Perspective: Francis and June Speizer Collection of Art, Rockford Art Museum,IL
The Object Redux: Re-Used, Re-Newed and Re-Invented,Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
Common/Uncommon, Gahlberg Gallery, Arts Center, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
1993 Union League Club, Chicago, IL
1992 Face to Face: Self-Portraits by Chicago Artists, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Assemblage,Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
1991-93 Spirited Visions: Portraits of Chicago Artists by Patty Carroll, The State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL (travelling exhibition)
1991 Sculptors on Paper, University of Wisconsin Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Revelations: Artists Look at Religions, The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL
1990-91 Portraits of A Kind,Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
1990 Signs of Support: Furniture Forms in Contemporary American Art, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
Death, State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL (travelling exhibition)
Off the Shelf: Books Made by Artists, Rockford College Art Gallery, Rockford, IL
1988-90 Making Their Mark: Woman Artists Move Into the Mainstream, 1970-1985, Cincinatti Art Museum, Cincinatti, OH; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia,PA
1987-90 Diamonds are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball, New York State Museum, Albany, NY; Norton Gallery, West Palm Beach, FL; Museum of Art and History, San Juan, PR; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinatti, OH; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Chicago Public Library Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA; New York Public, New York, NY
1989 Chicago Works: Art from the Windy City, Bruce Gallery, University of Pennsylvania at Edinboro; Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Beyond the Tradition of Rocking Chairs,Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York, NY
1988-89 Works by Women, The Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL
1988 Fifteen Year Anniversary Exhibition: 1973-1988,Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, IL
In the Folk Art Tradition: Contemporary Wood Sculpture, The Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL
Chair as Object as Statement,University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI
Chicago Now!, The South Bend Art Center, South Bend, IN
1987-88 The Eloquent Object, Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, OK; The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Kyoto, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
1987 Standing Ground: Sculpture by American Women,The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinatti, OH
Xylem/Wood: Four Sculptors, The Kansas City Art Center, Kansas City, MO
1986-87 Artist Source: Influence; Stimuli; Inspiration; Obsession, Gallery 200, School of Art, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL; School of the Art Institute of Chicago Gallery, Chicago, IL; At and Architecture Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
1986 Fetish Art: Obsessive Expression,Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
Apfelbaum, Bourgeois, Graves, Park, Putnam, Wharton, Paolo Salvador Gallery, New York, NY
1985 Selections from the William J. Hokin Collection,Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
American Painting and Sculpture: 1968-Present,Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Selected Wood Sculpture,Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
1984-85 Contemporary American Wood Sculpture, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA (trav. exh.)
1984 Awards in the Visual Arts 3: An Exhibition of Works by Recipients of the 3rd Annual Awards in the Visual Arts, organized under the auspices of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio,TX; Loch Haven Art Center, Orlando, FL; Cranbrook Academy of Art Gallery, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Alternative Spaces, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Ten Years of Collecting Art at the MCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1983-84 Drawing in Air, Celofrith Gallery, Sunderland Arts Centre, England; Glynn Vivian Gallery and Museum, Swansea, Wales; City Art Gallery and Henry Moore Center, Leeds, England
1983 Sculpture Then and Now,James Mayor Gallery, London, England
Window Shopping, North Wells, West Hubbard and North State Streets, Chiago, IL
Day In, Day Out: Ordinary Life as a Source of Art,Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA
Poetic Objects, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Personification, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
Invitational Exhibition for the Benefit of the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
1982-83 Dialect=Dialectic: A Group Show of Artists with Complex Individual Vocabularies, Phyllis Kind     Gallery, Chicago, IL and New York, NY
1982 Works in Wood, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Wood into the 80’s, Truman Gallery, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Dead or Alive, Lerner Heller Gallery, New York, NY (travelling exhibition)
1981 City Sculpture, Chicago Public Library Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
1980 Six Artists from Chicago, James Mayor Gallery, London, England
Chicago/Chicago, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinatti, OH
Painting and Sculpture Today,1980, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
1979 100 Years/100 Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
New Dimensions: Volume and Space, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
American Portraits of the Sixties and Seventies, Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, Aspen, CO
Prize Winners Revisited, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1978 American Chairs: Form, Function and Fantasy, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI The Daley Memorial, N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, IL
1977 Contemporary Chicago Sculpture, Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, Kalamazoo, MI Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, IL
1976 Improbable Furniture, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Visions/ Paintings and Sculpture: Distinguished Alumni 1945 to Present, The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL (Former Famous Alumni)
Paintings and Sculpture, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL, Art Park, Lewiston, NY
1975 Fellowship Show, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Il (Anna Louise Raymond Award)
Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, IL
1974 Chicago and Vicinity Show, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (Logan Prize)
Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, IL
SELECTED COLLECTIONS
American Medical Association, Chicago, IL
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Arthur Andersen Company, Chicago, IL
AT&T, Chicago, IL
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dallas Museum, Dallas, TX
First National Bank, Chicago, IL
Madison Art Center, Madison, WI
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
State of Illinois Collection, Chicago, IL
Union League Club, Chicago, IL
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Museum