Published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. Text by Richard Shiff.
Jack Whitten (born 1939) is an American abstractionist celebrated for his innovative processes of applying and transfiguring paint in works equally alert to materiality, politics and metaphysics. This publication focuses on more than 20 of the artist’s paintings from the 1980s and features an essay by Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at The University of Texas at Austin. Whitten holds a unique place in the narrative of postwar American art: over the course of a five-decade career, he has bridged gestural abstraction and process art, experimenting ceaselessly to arrive at a nuanced language of painting that hovers between mechanical automation and personal expression. Whitten has had a profound influence on many artists working today, and in September 2016 he was awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his major contribution to the cultural legacy of the United States.
Published by Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Text by Kathryn Kanjo, Robert Storr, Quincy Troupe.
For five decades, New York-based artist Jack Whitten (born 1939) has explored the possibilities of paint, the role of the artist and the allure of materials. As a child of the segregated South, he bears witness to expressions of evil and the resilience of the human spirit. From his first spectral canvases to his recent mosaic canvases, Whitten's compelling compositions have spanned a half-century of artistic innovation. Showcasing approximately 60 canvases, this survey--the first substantial volume on the artist--reveals Whitten as an innovator who uses abstraction in its newest idioms to achieve an enduring gravitas. Whitten's abiding engagement with scientific systems (as structure), social issues (as evidence) and commitment to the power of visual expression (materiality) show him to be an artist both of his time and for the present.