Jack Whitten lived from 1939 to 2018. Before the civil rights movement, Whitten, an African-American, defied the mostly white art-world establishment, which favored Abstract Expressionism, by doing figurative work. But abstraction was calling him and he answered, eloquently. “There is no race, no color, no gender, no territorial hang ups, no religion, no politics and no monolithic notions of being,” he said in one of his last interviews. “There is only life.” Spanning six decades of his career, this is the first major survey of Whitten’s works on paper, an investigation of his development as a radical thinker and artist. —C.J.F.
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