Schmidt Contemporary Art: Friday, 7 Spetmber 2007
EARLY ETCHINGS; RECENT DRAWINGS
SEPTEMBER 7 THRU OCTOBER 6, 2007
A reception for Jim Nutt will be held Friday, September 7 from 6:00-9:00 PM
Since the mid-1960s Jim Nutt has focused on the human figure, primarily portraits of women. These remarkable etchings from the late 1960s, which have not been shown for quite some time, present the figure full bodied accompanied by smaller details; they are presented in a loose and free form manner yet are psychologically intense. Remarkable in their detail some of the plate images are only about three inches high. They often contain a touch of humor in an iconography very specific to Nutt's early development through which he and a number of other artists brought fresh attention to the art scene in Chicago then in need of a focus which found itself in their group called the Hairy Who..
As his work developed Nutt's technique both in painting and in his drawings became more drawn into itself, more focused, and more powerful. His work has become so labor intensive that Mr. Nutt is able to complete only one painting and a handful of drawings each year.
The drawings from the past few years show Nutt's dedication to the portrait head which has been his focus from the late 1980s through the present. These drawings are painstakingly worked - lines are drawn, then erased, redrawn and re-erased, and redrawn again. The final sheets are the result not only of the artist's hand and mind, but also of time itself.
While the features of his women are exaggerated they present an enigmatic beauty - intensely personal, intensely psychological. We are drawn to them both in terms of their artistic genius and their compelling grasp of a humanity revealed to us through art alone and its ongoing traditions. Jim Nutt stands foursquare with the historical use of the portrait to reveal both time and culture which has played such an important role in Western painting and drawing.
Jim Nutt demands a great deal of himself as one will understand as this work is viewed over time. It is the antithesis of the quick and the easy (all too often seen today) from its inception in the mind and hand of the artist though its fulfillment by the appreciation of those viewers willing to spend the time that these images so well deserve.
Formal gallery hours are Wed through Fri, 12:00-5:00; Sat 10: - 4:00
Please call for an appointment if you wish to view the exhibition at another time.