Beginning 5 November 2020, Hauser & Wirth New York will present rarely seen works made by American artist Jack Whitten (1939–2018) in the years from 1991 and 2000, a period of intense experimentation during which he strove to channel and translate the effects of tumultuous world events. Blurring the boundaries between sculpture and painting, the multidimensional works on view combine geometric abstraction and found objects to mine spiritual and metaphysical thematic veins.
The exhibition highlights Whitten's mastery of unconventional materials, including acrylic, recycled glass, plywood, and eggshells, which he applied in intricate, mosaic-like compositions. Many works on view memorialise influential figures and reference contemporary events that held deep significance for the artist. Among works here are examples from his Totem and Mask series, bodies of work that followed Whitten's celebrated Black Monolith series honouring African American intellectuals from the 20th and 21st centuries that he began in the mid-1980s.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.