Zeno X Gallery
On view at the gallery are three new collage-paintings, built up piece by piece with acrylic tesserae and casts in intriguing forms and colors. In the work Cultural Shift (A.K.A. The Lena Horne Jubilee) the grid-like background of black and white tesserae gives the impression of passing clouds on which small islands, made of all kind of bottle bottoms casted in cheerful, glittering colors, seem to drift. The work is a meditation on the tremendous changes taking place in modern society and is dedicated to the recently deceased Lena Horne, a famous Afro-American singer, actress and human rights activist. In the artist’s words, ‘the work is a celebratory attempt to come to terms with the enormous societal pressures on all of us’. Reclamation: For Roy DeCarava is a second memorial work on view, in which Whitten pays homage to the Afro-American photographer, famous for chronicling the daily, specifically Afro-American life in New York.
Ten works on paper from 2010 are exhibited in the second room of the gallery in which Whitten experiments with dry pigment, graphite and oil stick, and creates grid-like compositions by transferring the structure of objects, such as a radiator, directly onto paper with a graphite block. In the series ‘Ode to Monet’ rich oily stick and graphite rubbed into Japanese rice paper give an impressionist light bathed in the glow of modern technology.