Paint it coolChicago Imagists (Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, $34.95), the catalog for MMoCA�s ongoing exhibition, proves you don�t already know all there is to know about the artists whose 1960s work started one of Chicago�s few famous movements. Chicago Imagists emphasizes unfamiliar pieces, most drawn from Wisconsin collector Bill McClain�s recent donation to MMoCA, and lesser-known members of the group who deserve more attention. Available at the Museum of Contemporary Art Store, 220 E Chicago Ave (312-397-4000).
Joan of snark Patricia Albers�s Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter (Knopf, $40) illuminates the turbulent life of a mouthy Chicago native whose art transcended its �second-generation Abstract Expressionist� label. Albers excels at blending interviews, research and art-historical expertise. Available at Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N Broadway (773-883-9119).
Coffee gawk Madeline Baum�s Pottery in the City ($8-$12) mugs are among the coolest items I spotted at ShopColumbia, which tripled in size after a summer renovation. The Columbia College graphic-design student�s stoneware is dishwasher- and oven-safe. Available at ShopColumbia, 623 S Wabash Ave, first floor (312-369-8616).