“Using the bones from the past,” the Black American artist Jack Whitten once said, “we can understand the present and foresee the future.” Whitten arrived on the New York art scene in the 1970s. Blending figuration and abstraction, he used Afro combs and rakes to draw large fields of color across the canvas. As his career advanced, Whitten became increasingly known for rigorous experimentation and mosaic-like compositions, in which he often uses unconventional materials—acrylic, recycled glass, plywood, even eggshells. The effect is emotional. This exhibition presents works from 1991 through 2000, a period when Whitten aimed to get the tumult of world events into his work. —E.C.
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