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Miss E. Knows

Collage style painting on glass, purple figure with large nose.
© Jim Nutt

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  • Collage style painting on glass, purple figure with large nose.




Jim Nutt
American, born 1938

About this artwork

Jim Nutt is a principal member of the Hairy Who, an irreverent group of artists that emerged in Chicago during the late 1960s. Exhibiting Surrealist-inspired work aimed at subverting artistic conventions and standards of taste, these artists became part of the Chicago Imagist movement. Although each member developed a distinct style, collectively they shared an emphasis on intuition and spontaneity and an affection for wordplay and humor. In his earliest paintings, Nutt referenced popular culture, particularly painted store windows and pinball machines, through his choice of medium and support—acrylic paint on Plexiglas. In addition, many elements of his early style relate to the comic strip: hard, crisp forms stand out boldly against simple backgrounds. In Miss E. Knows he also appropriated a sequential format, incorporating small, framed images in the upper-left corner of the painting. The work depicts a grotesquely imagined, highly sexualized female figure—Nutt’s satire of ideal beauty. The artist included the cartoonish light beam across her eyes as a reference to the cinema. By attaching objects such as rubber tubing and a coat hook to its surface, Nutt heightened the Surrealist effect of this image.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Jim Nutt


Miss E. Knows


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Acrylic on Plexiglas with aluminum and rubber; in artist's painted frame


192.1 × 131.1 cm (75 5/8 × 51 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Twentieth-Century Purchase Fund

Reference Number



© Jim Nutt

Extended information about this artwork

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