© 1966 Jim Nutt
Acrylic on the reverse of Plexiglas panel with aluminum frameexpand_more
The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more 2016.89
Jim Nutt was part of a six-member artists’ group called the Hairy Who. Based in Chicago, they exhibited together around the country several times in the late 1960s. The group held no collective philosophy. Instead, they came together out of their shared appreciation for comic strips, ads, bawdy puns, and the visual culture of Chicago, including hand-painted signs, pinball machines, and product catalogues. They gravitated to the odd, the disturbing, and the ultra-local. Nutt’s Backman exemplifies these tendencies in their work—exquisitely made in a painstaking technique (the image was painted on the reverse side of a piece of Plexiglas) but with a comic book style that is invented, absurdist, violent, and perplexing.
Jm Nutt is among the most influential artists of his generation, and work by the members of the Hairy Who, as they called themselves, has gradually gained great importance in the art world. Backman strengthens Mia’s holdings of Pop art and comics-inspired objects, allowing the museum to better present the history of 1960s art.