Jack Whitten American, 1939-2018


Born in Bessemer, Alabama in 1939, Jack Whitten is celebrated for his innovative processes of applying paint to the surface of his canvases and transfiguring their material terrains. Although Whitten initially aligned with the New York circle of abstract expressionists active in the 1960s, his work gradually distanced from the movement’s aesthetic philosophy and formal concerns, focusing more intensely on the experimental aspects of process and technique that came to define his practice. Noted for raucous colors and density of gesture combined with topical content, his artwork of this period manifests emotionally complex meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War.


Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art: 1994-1995,

Alexander Gray Associates: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2007

Allan Stone Gallery: 2016, 1970, 1968, 1965

American Academy of Arts and Letters: 2008

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center: 2008

Brooklyn Museum: 2018, 2017, 2014

Horodner Romley: 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992

Kenkelaba Gallery: 1991, 1983, 1981

Kienzle Art Foundation: 2016

Manetti Shrem Museum of Art: 2017

Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1976

Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens: 2014

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: 2017, 2012

Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles: 2012

Museum of Modern Art: 2007, 1990, 1971, 1968

National Academy Museum: 2006

New Museum: 2013, 1993

New York Academy of Art: 1991

P.S.1 Center for the Contemporary Arts: 1980

Pace Gallery: 2016

Pratt Institute Gallery: 1974

Pulitzer Art Foundation: 2017

Studio Museum Harlem: 2009, 2006, 2003, 1979, 1968

Tate Modern: 2017

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego: 2014

The Smithsonian Institution: 2001

The Studio Museum in Harlem: 2016, 2012, 1983

Walker Arts Center: 2015, 2014

Wexner Center for the Arts: 2015, 2013

Whitney Museum of American Art: 2013, 1996, 1974, 1972, 1969

Zeno X Gallery: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011


Museums and Public Collections

Aldrich Museum

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago                       

Birmingham Museum of Art      

Brooklyn Museum

Cleveland Museum of Art

Columbia University

Cornell Fine Arts Museum         

Dallas Museum of Art   

Fogg Art Museum at Harvard    

High Museum of Art Atlanta

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

MoMA, Museum of Modern Art

Montclair Art Museum

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Newark Museum

Palm Springs Museum

Princeton Art Museum

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University

SFMOMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Studio Museum of Harlem

Tate Modern

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Walker Art Center

Weatherspoon Art Museum

Whitney Museum of American Art

Awards and Fellowships

Individual Artist’s Fellowship National Endowment for the Arts: 1973

John Hay Whitney Opportunity Fellowship: 1964

National Medal of Arts: 2016

Skowhegan Medal for Painting: 2017

The Aldrich A2A Award

Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship: 1976

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