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Jim Lutes
American, born 1955

Jim Lutes is a Chicago-based painter whose work questions how figuration and abstraction can
coexist within a single artwork. He Just Snapped considers the current state of the American
Dream. The painting depicts the home where Lutes grew up in Washington State. For members
of the Baby Boomer generation, home ownership—especially a home in the suburbs like the one
depicted in this painting—was supposed to guarantee a kind of ideal American life, the pursuit of the so-called American Dream. The red marks on the canvas’s surface disrupt its idyllic
homestead. Furthermore, these marks reference the history of abstract painting in the United
States, importantly Abstract Expression, and its influence on Lutes training. The dissonance
between the surface markings and the house’s façade describe the disconnect between reality and
perception, abstraction and figuration, the American Dream and lived experiences of middle
class families.

More information about this artist

Jim Lutes
He just snapped, 1989
Oil on canvas
78" x 120"