Skip to content

Jack Whittten

Jack Whittten: “

Dystopos: redlink

”’Jack Whitten”’ (born 1939) is an [[Visual arts of the United States|American]] [[Abstract art|abstract]] [[Painting|painter]].

Whitten was born in [[Bessemer, Alabama]], the son of a seamstress, twice widowed. His father, a coal-miner, died while Whitten was a child. Planning a career as an army doctor, Whitten entered pre-medical studies at [[Tuskegee Institute]] where he took some pilot training and became inspired by [[George Washington Carver]]’s legacy as a scientist, inventor and artist. He also traveled to nearby [[Montgomery, Alabama]] to hear [[Martin Luther King, Jr]] speak during the [[Montgomery Bus Boycott]] and was deeply moved by his vision for a changed America.

Whitten went to [[Southern University]] in [[Baton Rouge, Louisiana]] to begin studying art and became involved in [[History of Baton Rouge#Civil Rights Era|Civil Rights demonstrations]] there. Angered by the violent resistance to change he experienced he moved to [[New York, New York|New York City]] in 1960. He enrolled immediately at the at the [[Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art|Cooper Union]], graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine art in 1964. Afterwards he remained in New York as a working artist, heavily influenced by the abstract expressionists then dominating the art community.

Whitten’s work was featured in the Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the [[Whitney Museum of American Art]] in 1972. The Whitney mounted a solo exhibition of his paintings in 1974. He has also had individual shows at numerous private galleries and universities, including a 10-year retrospective in 1983 at the [[Studio Museum in Harlem]] and an exhibition of memorial paintings in 2008 at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center in [[Atlanta, Georgia]].

Throughout his career, Whitten has concerned himself with the techniques and materials of painting and the relationship of artworks to their inspirations. At times he has pursued quickly-applied gestural techniques akin to photography or printmaking. At other times the deliberative and constructive hand is evident. The ”[[New York Times]]” labeled him the father of a ‘new abstraction’.

When the [[9/11 terrorist attacks|terrorist attacks]] on the [[World Trade Center]] occurred, Whitten was at his studio on Lispenard Street in [[Tribeca]] watching the first plane hit. He spent two years constructing a monumental elegiac and emotion-filled panel, with ashes embedded into it, as a memorial of the day.

Whitten and his wife, Mary reside in [[Queens, New York]]. He also owns a vacation home in [[Crete]].

* Goldsmith, Kenneth (Summer 1994) ‘[ Jack Whitten]’ ”Bomb Magazine.”
* Storr, Rober (Septmeber 2007) ‘[ Jack Whitten with Robert Storr]’ ”Brooklyn Rail”
* Ostrove, Saul (April 2008) ‘[ Process, Image and Elegy]’ ”Art in America”.
* Fox, Catherine (April 26, 2008) ‘Close to history: Alabama-born artist who boarded a bus to New York in 1960 makes a triumphant return to the South.’ ”Atlanta Journal-Constitution”

{{DEFAULTSORT:Whitten, Jack}}
[[Category:1939 births]]
[[Category:Living people]]
[[Category:Abstract expressionist artists]]
[[Category:American painters]]
[[Category:New York artists]]
[[Category:People from New York City]]
[[Category:People from Birmingham, Alabama]]
[[Category:Tuskegee University alumni]]
[[Category:The Cooper Union alumni]]

(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar