Bare Shouldered Beauty



Suellen Rocca’s “Bare Shouldered Beauty: Works from 1965 to 1969” is showing at Matthew Marks Gallery through October 22. In the late sixties, Rocca was part of the Hairy Who, a group of six imagist artists from Chicago; their exhibitions gained renown for their magpie approach, drawing influences from pop culture, magazines, comic books, and “trash treasures,” as Rocca’s collaborator Ray Yoshida called them. Rocca has referred to her work from this period as her “autobiography.” “I was this young mother making these paintings,” she told Hyperallergic last year. “It was a wonderful period. My son would take a nap and I’d rush to my knotty pine studio and work on a painting. Having a toddler and a baby and all these exciting shows, it was wonderful. It was a happy time.”

Suellen Rocca, Palm Finger, 1968, oil on canvas, 20 1/2″ x 16 1/2″.


Untitled (pillow, legs, towel), 1968, ink on paper, 24 1/8″ x 19″.

Paul’s Umbrella Painting, 1968, oil on canvas, 14″ x 14″.

Easy to Handle, 1968, colored pencil, ink, and cotton on paper, 29 1/8″ x 23″.

Dancing Curls, c. 1968, ink and colored pencil on paper, 24 1/8″ x 19 1/8″.