Skip to main content

Distributed for Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

The Time Is Now!

Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960-1980

During the 1960s and 70s, Chicago was shaped by art and ideas produced and circulated on its South Side. Defined by the city’s social, political, and geographic divides and by the energies of its multiple overlapping art scenes, this vibrant moment of creative expression produced a cultural legacy whose impact continues to unfold nationally and internationally.
          The Time is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960-1980, published in tandem with an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art, examines this cultural moment—brimming with change and conflict—and the figures who defined it. Focusing primarily on African American artists in and out of the Black Arts Movement, The Time is Now! re-examines watershed cultural moments: from the Wall of Respect to Black Creativity, from the Civil Rights Movement to AfriCOBRA, from vivid protest posters to visionary Afrofuturist art, and from the Hairy Who to the radical sounds of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
          Employing new scholarship that reassesses and recalibrates traditional narratives of postwar Chicago art, the exhibit resonates with current national dialogues around race, gender, protest, and belonging. The book contains a series of long and short essays, interviews, and other contextual material, along with full-color images of all works included in the exhibition and extensive reproductions of ephemera and historical photographs.

215 pages | 80 color plates | 11 x 11 | © 2018

Art: Art--General Studies


"A warmly illustrated, contextually rich consideration of how local art scenes are more than paintings and sculptures. . . . its strength is its fragments, a short history of how the mural movement 'worked directly with the people to forge community solidarities amid an emerging Black consciousness,' a dive into Afrofuturism and the pageantry of Sun Ra, a snapshot at art from the Bud Billiken Parade."

Chicago Tribune

"The Time is Now! opens with a concise timeline of Chicago art and history from the 1930s to 1980, and incorporates a diverse range of perspectives in short,  engaging essays and edited conversations placed around large figures and graphics."

Southside Weekly

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press