Artist Jim /Nutt in his studio

Photo by Nathan Keay for The New York Times

Alum and Hairy Who Member Jim Nutt’s Exhibition of New Works Reviewed by The New York Times

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) alum Jim Nutt (BFA 1967, HON 2016) is currently exhibiting a show at New York’s David Nolan Gallery. In the late 1960s, Nutt and five other SAIC students formed the Hairy Who, a group of artists later to be known as the Chicago Imagists. Though they worked as individuals, the Hairy Who took inspiration from growing consumerism, print media, and counterculture.

Jim Nutt: Shouldn’t We Be More Careful? is an exhibition of 19 graphite drawings, and the first show of Nutt’s new work in over a decade. Each of the drawings is a variation of the same portrait: a figure that has been present in Nutt’s work for the past 40 years. The New York Times situates Nutt’s portraits in a state of fixation likened to Giorgio Morandi’s bottles and Jasper Johns’ flags. Though imposing and sturdy looking, Nutt’s women are derived from a few lines. The portrait’s permutations exhibit Nutt’s perfectionism and a contemporary refusal of excess, novelty, and ceaseless production.