Jack Whitten, ‘Birmingham’, 1964, Painting, Aluminum foil, newsprint, stocking, and oil on plywood, Brooklyn Museum
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Jack Whitten

Birmingham, 1964

Aluminum foil, newsprint, stocking, and oil on plywood
16 5/8 × 16 in
42.2 × 40.6 cm
Location
Brooklyn
About the work
Exhibition history
Provenance
Medium
Image rights
© Jack Whitten
Jack Whitten
American, 1939–2018
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Early on, Jack Whitten was influenced by both the Bauhaus and Abstract Expressionism, but after meeting William de Kooning the balance tilted toward the latter. Blending figuration and abstraction, Whitten’s emotionally riveting gestural works—including a series on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—touched upon the racial turmoil he understood so well as an African American from the South. The 1970s marked a stylistic rupture, after which Whitten endeavored to define “a new spatial perception” by “experimenting with the possibilities of paint without imposing the added burden of psychological implications.” In this vein, he began to draw large fields of color across his canvases with Afro combs, squeegees, and homemade rakes to create what he called “Energy Fields”. Whitten’s recent experimentations take the form of mosaics, wherein he transforms paint compounds into tiles and applies them to canvas.

Jack Whitten, ‘Birmingham’, 1964, Painting, Aluminum foil, newsprint, stocking, and oil on plywood, Brooklyn Museum
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share
About the work
Exhibition history
Provenance
Medium
Image rights
© Jack Whitten
Jack Whitten
American, 1939–2018
Follow

Early on, Jack Whitten was influenced by both the Bauhaus and Abstract Expressionism, but after meeting William de Kooning the balance tilted toward the latter. Blending figuration and abstraction, Whitten’s emotionally riveting gestural works—including a series on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—touched upon the racial turmoil he understood so well as an African American from the South. The 1970s marked a stylistic rupture, after which Whitten endeavored to define “a new spatial perception” by “experimenting with the possibilities of paint without imposing the added burden of psychological implications.” In this vein, he began to draw large fields of color across his canvases with Afro combs, squeegees, and homemade rakes to create what he called “Energy Fields”. Whitten’s recent experimentations take the form of mosaics, wherein he transforms paint compounds into tiles and applies them to canvas.

Jack Whitten

Birmingham, 1964

Aluminum foil, newsprint, stocking, and oil on plywood
16 5/8 × 16 in
42.2 × 40.6 cm
Location
Brooklyn
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