Jack Whitten: The Artist’s Hypothesis

The Editors at The Paris Review:

The artist Jack Whitten, who died in 2018, approached his practice with the curiosity of a scientist and the playfulness of a jazz musician. Many of his paintings are the result of a careful aesthetic hypothesis unleashed upon the canvas and then transformed by improvisation. The works at the center of “Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey.” (on view at Hauser & Wirth through April 4) display a delightful agnosticism regarding medium and material. In one, he splashes a paper collage with calligrapher’s ink and acrylic paint; in another, he seems to conjure the farthest reaches of space on a single sheet of blotter. A selection of images from the show appears below.

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