Jack Whitten
Transitional Space
A Drawing Survey


In order to share a safe and positive experience, we ask that you book a timed reservation to visit this exhibition at Hauser & Wirth New York, 69th Street. Please visit our location page to plan your visit.

Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present the first major survey of Jack Whitten’s works on paper, spanning the artist’s six decade career. Jack Whitten (1939 – 2018)  made it his mission to disrupt the discipline of art history through experiments with material, process, and technique. He effectively constructed a bridge between gestural abstraction and process art, constantly working toward a nuanced language of painting that employs deeply personal expression. Whitten was also a prolific and powerful draughtsman. The unique body of works on view at Hauser & Wirth testifies to the immensity of his commitment to drawing as a means to make manifest his ideas and advance his methods.


‘Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey.’ spotlights the artist’s playfulness and improvisational skill in searching for his own special visual language. Paper was more than an effective medium for Whitten; for him, working on paper was akin to scientific research. With an aesthetic hypothesis in mind, he worked tirelessly on paper to both subvert and elevate the history of art and how best to represent the many layers of information packed inside his imagination.

Drawing was an integral part of Whitten’s artistic and technical maturation. His analysis of the properties of different mediums engaged materials as diverse as watercolor, toner, cuttlefish ink, homemade walnut ink, and endless variety of Japanese and specialty papers. The trial-and-error of Whitten’s methodology can be felt through the multiple versions and renditions he created of particular works, many of which served as preliminary studies for subsequent paintings and monumental series.

Selected images

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Tue 25 Feb 2020, 7:00
In Conversation: ‘Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey.’ with Phong Bui, Kelly Baum, and Julie Mehretu
New York, 69th Street

Please join us in for a conversation in celebration of ‘Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey.’ The exhibition is on view at view at Hauser & Wirth New York 69th Street through 4 April. This is the first major survey dedicated to Jack Whitten’s works…
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Tue 28 Jan 2020, 6:00
Opening reception: ‘Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey.’
New York, 69th Street

We welcome you to join us for the opening reception of ‘Jack Whitten. Transitional Space. A Drawing Survey’, the first major survey of the artist’s works on paper illuminating the impressive breadth of the artist’s career and practice. This unique body of work serves as a…
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About the artist

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…

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