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Exhibition Catalogue for “Jack Whitten: Jack’s Jacks”

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

The exhibition “Jack’s Jacks” at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin ended on September 2019. It was Jack Whitten’s (1939–2018) first solo exhibition in a European museum. The accompanying publication shows how the American artist continually redefined the boundaries of abstract painting within his oeuvre over a six-decade period.

Starting with his gestural paintings that were created under the influence of Abstract Expressionism, the catalogue follows the development of Whitten’s painting style through his Slab Paintings of the 1970s to his later experiments with structure and materiality that led to the artist’s distinctive mosaic aesthetics. To elucidate the contemporary and historical contexts of the works, the focus lies on paintings, historical events and the prominent people to whom they are dedicated, including Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Norman Lewis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey and Prince.

In addition to essays by Udo Kittelmann, Sven Beckstette, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., David Reed and Stanley Whitney, the catalogue also features a discussion between Zoé Whitley and Melvin Edwards, as well as Jack Whitten’s own texts. Designed by Kerstin Riedel, the catalogue was published by Prestel Verlag (English/German, hardcover, 240 pages, 230 x 290 mm, numerous colour illustrations). Price: 42 euros.

The exhibition catalogue is also available through the webshop of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.