Naomi Beckwith, curator at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, explores the work of Chicago imagist and central figure in the Hairy Who movement, Jim Nutt.
Naomi Beckwith, curator at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, continues the series exploring overlooked visual artists from the 20th century.
Born in 1938, Jim Nutt studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1966 he began to exhibit with a small group that critics named The Hairy Who, after the title of their first show. His work drew acclaim for the apparent contrast between its technical skill and elegance, and its brash, scatalogical content. Since the mid-1970s Nutt has been producing just one work a year. But though he's something of a hero in his adopted hometown, he has never achieved the international profile many people think he deserves. Did the strangeness of his art, his loyalty to Chicago or his refusal to feed art world demand prevent him from achieving international recognition?
Contributors include Jim Nutt, John Corbett (writer, musician, radio host, teacher, record producer & gallery owner), Suellen Rocca (Hairy Who member & Director of Exhibitions at Elmhurst College Library), and Gladys Nilsson (Hairy Who member and wife of Jim Nutt)
The series features artists selected by three curators from different backgrounds - Iwona Blazwick (Whitechapel Gallery), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Galleries) and Naomi Beckwith (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago). Told broadly chronologically, the series explores why these artists have been obscured and why some are now being reinstated into the 20th century artistic canon.
Archive audio courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Presenter: Naomi Beckwith
Producer: Michael Umney
Researcher: Jessie Lawson
Executive Producer: Joby Waldman
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4
Image (c) Jim Nutt, courtesy David Nolan Gallery, New York.