CATALOG INDEX

PUBLISHER
Gregory R. Miller & Co.

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.5 in. / 192 pgs / 161 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2018 p. 43   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781941366172 TRADE
List Price: $55.00 CDN $72.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore Museum of Art, 04/22/18–07/29/18
New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 09/06/18–12/02/18

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Jack Whitten: Odyssey

Sculpture 1963–217

Text by Katy Siegel, Kelly Baum, Jack Whitten, Richard Shiff, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kellie Jones. Interview with Courtney Martin.

Featured image, of "The Black Christ" (1967), surrounded by a constellation of wishbones, fish skeletons, photographs and memorial programs in Jack Whitten's Woodside, Queens, studio, is reproduced from 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey.'

Jack Whitten was one of the most important artists of his generation. His paintings range from figurative work addressing civil rights in the 1960s to groundbreaking experimentation with abstraction in the '70s, '80s and '90s to recent work memorializing black historical figures such as James Baldwin and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Whitten began carving wood in the 1960s in order to understand African sculpture, both aesthetically and in terms of his own identity as an African American, and continued developing this practice throughout his life. For the first time ever, these revelatory works are collected in Odyssey, accompanying a landmark exhibition coorganized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Odyssey features the sculptures made by Whitten over the past 50 years, as well as the Black Monolith series of paintings, and Whitten's own archival photographs documenting his life and process. The catalog includes major new texts from exhibition curators Katy Siegel and Kelly Baum, as well as contributions from philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, art historians Richard Shiff and Kellie Jones, a lengthy biographical interview with Whitten by art historian Courtney J. Martin and the essay "Why Do I Carve Wood?" by the artist himself.

Gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of illustrations and never-before-published photographs, Odyssey is a landmark exploration of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, and a monument to a life and career that, as described by the Washington Post, "enriched the abstract tradition in Western art with fresh political and spiritual content."

Featured image, of "The Black Christ" (1967), surrounded by a constellation of wishbones, fish skeletons, photographs and memorial programs in Jack Whitten's Woodside, Queens, studio, is reproduced from 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey.'

Jack Whitten: Odyssey

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/14/2018

Aggression and menace, history and place in 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey'

Aggression and menace, history and place in 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey'

Jack Whitten's Lichnos (2008) "captures the aggression and menace of the spiny, bottom-dwelling lichnos fish" that he encountered during his many decades summering in Greece, Meredith A. Brown writes in Jack Whitten: Odyssey. To form the body of the sculpture, Whitten used a large piece of wood from a burnt native carob tree, studded with horizontal rows of ceramic, glass, bone, lead and other metals. "Out of the top of the carob shoots a smooth branch of deep-black mulberry, its tapered form resembling both a powerful horn and a lick of flame. Beneath the mulberry is affixed a mending plate, a piece of flattened copper screwed into the wood to reinforce a fragile spot. Whitten associated these mending plates with African wood sculpture, as well as with his upbringing in Alabama: 'It's also a Southern thing,' he explained, 'where people are doing mending, never throw anything away, so they discover some kind of way to mend that and hold it together.' All of this rests on slabs of cinder block coated with the traditional lime solution used to whitewash Greek and Cretan buildings. The overall effect pays homage to the delicious, dangerous fish. Whitten warned, 'Be careful!'" continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/13/2018

In 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey,' sculpture moves backward and forward in time and across the globe

In 'Jack Whitten: Odyssey,' sculpture moves backward and forward in time and across the globe

"Jack Whitten was a man of many ways," Katy Siegel writes in Jack Whitten: Odyssey, published by Gregory R. Miller & Co. to accompany the exhibition currently on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, en route to The Met this fall. "He found his way from segregated Alabama to art school in New York. He found a way to think about painting as a medium that beat mainstream formalism on its own grounds. He found different ways into African art through the seemingly conflicting perspectives of older postwar artists, Afrocentric politics, and the advocates of black cosmopolitanism. In the 1980s and following decades, he found a way to make paintings that expand our conception of what art can handle: memorials for loved ones, indexes of place, the stuff of quantum space-time. And perhaps most surprisingly, he found ways to make sculpture that moves backward and forward in time and across the globe. Whitten was a larger artist than the provincial New York art world could imagine (and, sometimes, than it could accept)—better, more expansive and various, than that time and place, that social context, deserved." Here, Whitten carves wood for a sculpture in Kyria Irini's courtyard, Agia Galini, Crete, 1972. continue to blog




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