Nilsson’s paintings come across as youthful and wise, a rare combination in any art.
The Chicago version of Pop Art, embodied in the work of the Hairy Who, is sweaty, nervous, sometimes giggly or goofy.
It is Gladys Nilsson’s attention to awkward and unconscious things that people do to themselves while out in public that makes her work fascinating to look at.
Life-size knit body suits mingle with painted metal lawn chairs, plastic purses, and rows of zines and ephemera in the summer show at Matthew Marks Gallery, What Nerve!, which gathers the work of four outlying postwar art groups in the United States.
There is something wonderfully incongruous and deeply disquieting about Gladys Nilsson’s art, which is primarily done in the medium of watercolor.