For over fifty years, Jack Whitten has been a pioneer of abstract painting in America, constantly pushing the boundaries of the medium with highly innovative materials, methods, and processes. Throughout his career, the 76-year-old, New York-based artist has displayed a rare virtuosity and inventiveness, working in a breadth of styles that consistently anticipate some of the most significant developments within abstract painting. Whitten is a major forerunner to the burgeoning tendency of “Social Abstraction” in American art, which embeds social issues within personal modes of expression.
Whitten studied at The Cooper Union in the early ’60s, and has exhibited his work widely ever since, at sites including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, to name just a few. Recent exhibitions include Light Years: Jack Whitten 1971–73 at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, and the major traveling retrospective, Jack Whitten: Five Decades of Painting, at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Walker Art Center. The artist is represented by Hauser & Wirth in New York, and will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the gallery in early 2017.