We are sad to hear of the death of Jack Whitten beloved and essential maker of abstract paintings. His 1973 painting, Pink Psyche Queen from our collection was included in last year's Little Lower Layer exhibition. On the occasion of the exhibition we interviewed Jack about the work, his process, and his hair. He shared his thoughts on what it means to talk about an artwork.
"When someone ask you to speak about a painting, what the artist is trying to do – we are trying to translate one medium into another. That's what we are trying to do. We're not perfect with that. No translations are perfect. It's an imperfect thing; it's not a science-based thing. It has an imperfection to it. But we try our best to translate. The spoken word is a medium. The written word is a medium. The painting is a medium. For me to talk about it, I'm doing my best to translate one medium into another."
Jack Whitten, Pink Psyche Queen, 1973
Jack Whitten created this dynamic horizontal blur by scraping pink acrylic across the surface of a painted canvas. The technique both reveals and conceals the image lying below. The mountain-like shape in the center functions as a symbol buried deep within the collective consciousness of humanity. “Geologic remains are like that,” he explains, “artifacts, which carry with them the psychic and physical data of our existence.“