This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Jack Whitten. Earlier this week the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University opened “Light Years: Jack Whitten, 1971-73.” Curated by Katy Siegel, the exhibition examines the period during which Whitten began to use tools to “process” paint on canvas. The exhibition also includes small drawing studies and small works on canvas in which Whitten uses paint as a collage medium. “Light Years” will be on view through December 15.
In addition, Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea is debuting recent Whitten paintings in a show that will run through October 12. Whitten is also included in “Blues for Smoke,” the Bennett Simpson-curated exhibition that will be at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus through December 29.
Whitten is among the leading painters of the post-abstract expressionism era. His work is distinguished by Whitten’s interest in experimenting with new techniques to apply and new ways to use paint on canvas. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will debut a Kathryn Kanjo-curated Whitten retrospective in 2014.
Among the topics we discuss are:
- Whitten’s need to stop making paintings that relied upon the gesture of his wrist;
- His realization that he did not need to engage the narrative tradition as established in much African-American art;
- His interest in using speed while making paintings in the early 1970s; and
- How the death of his sister motivated one of the paintings on view now at Alexander Gray.
On the second segment, Tehran-based artist Gohar Dashti talks about her photographs and how they address being Iranian in the wake of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Dashti was born in the war’s first year and believes that her generation is substantially defined by that armed conflict.
Dashti’s work is on view now in two exhibitions, including “She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition was curated by Kristen Gresh and will be on view through January 12, 2014. Amazon offers the show’s excellent catalogue for $30. At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Dashti is in “About Face: Contemporary Portraiture,” a survey of photographic portraiture since 2000. The show was organized by Jane L. Aspinwall and April M. Watson and will be on view through January 19. 2014.
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The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license. Special thanks to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden library for its help with this week’s show.