Jim Hittinger was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in the Detroit metro area. After graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit with a BFA in painting, Hittinger relocated to Minneapolis to attend graduate school. In 2015 he received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota, where he concentrated in painting and drawing.
In his work, Hittinger creates a sparsely populated world that seems to exist on the outskirts of somewhere else. As Andy Sturdevant wrote in a 2015 essay on Hittinger’s work:
“There isn’t much detail, on the surface of the paper – smudges of graphite over watercolor and gouache, mostly in dark-hued grays and mottled with the sort of texture created when wet mediums come into contact with wet surfaces. There are suggestions of dark, dreary and flattened Midwestern landscapes, marked by chain link fences, suburban houses, leafless trees, and the occasional abstracted human figure…Taken as a whole, the work suggests a walk across the endless expanse of a suburban parking lot on a dark, overcast late winter day, encountering another person every once in a while, but not stopping to chat. You press on, past fenced yards and small houses, coming across a burst of neon color every now and again that seems all at once invasive and totally mundane.”