“Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character presents forty-five years of work by this distinguished Chicago-based painter and draftsman. The exhibition, however, is not a conventional retrospective. Rather, it celebrates Nutt’s extraordinary achievement by focusing on the work of the past 20 years—his haunting and meticulously rendered portraits of imaginary women. A selection of earlier paintings and drawings is presented to showcase the artist’s unique creativity and trace the development of the imagery and formal devices Nutt has perfected in the ongoing portrait series. The exhibition, which is laid out roughly chronologically, also pairs a number of paintings with their graphite-on-paper studies in order to better elucidate Nutt’s artistic process.”

Snooper Trooper, 1967
Acrylic on Plexiglas, aluminum and steel; enamel on wood frame
39 x 21 in. (99 x 84.3 cm)
Courtesy the artist
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


“The imaginary portraits, so called because they are in the traditional format of a portrait while the figures come completely from Nutt’s vibrant imagination, are generally squarish in shape and modest in scale. They emerged in the mid-1980s, at which time Nutt’s titles became evocative but nonspecific one-syllable words, and explore the nature of line, color, and other formal interests within the motif of arresting and highly stylized faces. The luminous compositions are further enhanced by the dynamic relationship that occurs between the image and the artist-designed or painted frames, a long-standing characteristic of Nutt’s work.

This exhibition is organized by Lynne Warren, Curator.” mcachicago.org


Wiggly Woman, 1966
Acrylic on Plexiglas; aluminum frame
16 1/16 x 12 1/16 in. (40.7 x 30.5 cm)
Collection of Peter Dallos, Wilmette, Illinois
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago



“Japanese designer Hideki Ohmori says, “I get inspiration from imagining someone holding a camera, imagining that finally someone will get to see the world one wanted to see through the lens.” The roots of his Blackbird, Fly, a twin-lens reflex camera, harken back to the 1920s. One lens is used to expose the film, and the other is used like a viewfinder. Unlike most twin-lens reflex cameras, however, Blackbird, Fly doesn’t require 120mm film-it uses more readily available 35mm film. Pictures may be taken two different ways (at waist level, or through the sportsfinder at eye level), and framed three ways: in standard 35mm format (24×36), or use the provided mask to take square pictures in 24×24 or the extra-large 36×36 size.

For daytime shooting, you can alternate between apertures f/7 and f/11, with a shutter speed of 1/125. At night, you can switch the shutter to B-mode to let in as much light as you might need, or you can also attach a flash for even more possibilities. Variable focusing, from 0.8 meters (2.6 feet), makes for a sharp subject. The Blackbird fly uses a wide-angle 33mm lens and also allows you to take multiple exposures on the same frame. Includes camera strap and lens cap strap, instruction manual, warranty card, and two mask frames.

Plastic. 5″ tall x 3″ wide x 3.25″ deep.
8″ tall x 7.25″ wide photo book also available for $14.”
from Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art Store

• Colors: Blue, Black, White, Red or Orange
• Lens: f7 33mm/ photo lens
• Shutter speed: 1/125
• Aperture: f7 (cloudy) f11 (fine weather)
• Focus: Visual distance estimated measurement (0.8/1.5/2/2.5/3/4/5/10/∞)
• Weight: Body/210g., Case/ 130g.
• Film type: 135 (35mm) film
• Camera type: 35mm twin lens reflex
• Formats: Normal (24x36mm), Square (24x24mm), Full (no frame)
• Manual: Japanese


These beauties are available from Ohmori’s toy company, Superheadz or at the following locations:



North America

MCA store
Japan Trend Shop

— Anthony P. Munoz