2002 Material Transformation, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001 Mr. Imagination, Banana Factory, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
2000 Mr. Imagination: New Works on Paper, Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL
1999 Artist and the Community: Mr. Imagination, Southeastern Center for Community Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, NC
1998 The Spirit of Unity, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
1996 Modern Primitive Gallery, Atlanta, Ga.
Gregory Warmack/ Mr. Imagination, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
1995 Mr. Imagination, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Mr. Imagination, Wustum Museum, Racine, WI
1993 The Eye Stands For Mr. Imagination, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
1992 Mr. Imagination, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL, FOCI (Forms of
Contemporary Illinois), State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
Mr. Imagination, Sibell-Wolle Galleries, University of Colorado,
1991 The Eye Stands For Mr. Imagination: A Retrospective Show, University of
Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL
1990 Mr. Imagination, Art Talk at Cairo, Chicago, IL
1986 Mr. Imagination, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
1983 Mr. Imagination, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
1999 The End is Near, Portfolio 99, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
1996 Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
The Intuitive Edge: Midwest Outsider and Folk Art, South Bend Regional
Museum of Art, South Bend, IN
Recycled-Reseen: Folk Art from the Global Scrapheap (Traveling show
through Spring 1999)
Recycle, Reuse, Recreate, African Tour
1995 Chicago Connectors: Ten Self-Taught Visions Intersect the Mainstream,
Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
The Untutored Eye, Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI
From Africa to the Americas, Northwestern University Settlement,
1994 Reclamation and Transformation: Three Self-Taught Chicago Artists,
Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL
Resonances: Echoes of the Ancestors in African-American Art, Wabash
College, Crawfordsville, IN
Resurrections: Objects With New Souls, The William Benton Museum of
Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
1993 Absolut Heritage, USA
1992 Mr. Imagination, Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH
1991 Spirited Visions: Portrait of Chicago Artists by Patty Carroll, State of
Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
1991 "Evidence of Spirit", Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.
"Images in Black: Memory and Spirit in African American Art", Carl
Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
"Home Sweet Home", Columbia College, Chicago, IL
"The Cross Show", First Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL
"Black Art: Ancestral Legacy", Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond,
1990 "Mr. Imagination and Willie Leroy Elliott, Jr.", Carl Hammer Gallery,
"Black Art: Ancestral Legacy", High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA and
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
1989 "Black Art: Ancestral Legacy", Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, T x .
(Traveling Show Through 1991)
1989 "Sculpture: Inside and Out", Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL.
1988 "Portrait from Outside", Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA.
1987 "Outsider Art: The Black experience", Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago,
"Group exhibition/Gallery Artists", Mia Gallery, Seattle
"Opening exhibition", Primitivo, San Francisco, CA
1986 "Mr. Imagination/Philadelphia Wireman/Boneman", Oscarsson Seigeltuch
Gallery, New York, NY
"Group exhibition", Janet Fleischer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1985 "Group exhibition", Janet Fleischer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Mr. Imagination / Gregory Warmack
1948 - 2012
The incredible world of Mr. Imagination was "a work of art in progress". Saying this sums up the life of Gregory Warmack who was in the act of creating art ever since he was a young boy growing up on the South side of Chicago in a large family of brothers and sisters. His mother was probably his first creative role model, and from there his energies always focused on transforming his environment into a work of art. Warmack's talent was such that when handed an object of any size or shape, he saw into the object things that ordinary people don't and can't see. This extraordinary gift manifested itself into the ability to change any lost or thrown away piece of common material into a transcendent object by which new life, vitality and meaning were reincarnated.
Watching Mr. Imagination work was to experience the purest form of the intuitive process. He began only with the rawest notion of his final objective. His hands worked as his eyes. They felt each object knowingly and through the tactile senses he learned what it was about the material he needed to know to make it bend, reflect, and act in concert with the other accumulated artifacts. As any piece of sculpture of his took shape, it became clear that the process was been organic, flowing, natural, evolving with unique unpredictability. The act became the ritualistic performance of the shaman. Similarly, magically, new life emerged.
Perhaps the most significant element intrinsic to the Greg Warmack creation process was his belief in the spiritual energies possessed by his pieces which were infused both in the creation process and by the collaborative contributions of the spirit of people both living and dead. As the numerous labor-intensively placed pieces of objects, rubble, and memorabilia accumulated, so did the collective human spirit which simultaneously embellished and cemented the sum total of life experiences that were embodied in the life of this amazing artist and human being. Thank you, Mr. Imagination, for sharing your incredible vision of life with us.