"When I speak of space in painting, I'm speaking in terms of multi-dimensional space. A space that is infinite in all directions. This is what I got from Coltrane." --Jack Whitten
Turning from his Christian fundamentalist upbringing in segregated Alabama, Whitten moved to New York in 1959 to study art. Inspired by jazz and Abstract Expressionism, he began a painting career characterized for some fifty years by innovative materials and techniques.
Whitten made this monumental painting shortly after the devestating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Formed by thousands of tiny tiles sliced from a thick skin of acrylic paint, the work's surface involved more building than painting. Assembled like a mosaic, the tiles surround bright colored forms made by collaging a casting paint with the bottoms of plastic bottles.
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