Necklace for Mary (Primary Title)

Jack Whitten, American, 1939 - 2018 (Artist)

acrylic on canvas
United States
Unframed: 52 1/8 × 40 1/8 in. (132.4 × 101.92 cm)

“I am dealing with painting as a collage, paint as sculpture. I have changed the verb ”to paint”: I don’t paint a painting. I make a painting, so the verb has changed, and in doing that I’ve broken through a lot of illusionistic qualities.” —Jack Whitten

Whitten moved from Alabama to New York in 1959 to study art. Jazz and Abstract Expressionism were inspirations as he began a career characterized for some fifty years by innovative materials and techniques. In the 1970s, Whitten made what he described as “a deliberate and conscious decision to start experimenting with the possibilities of paint without imposing the added burden of psychological implications.” The new work was sometimes made with unconventional tools, such as his hair pick, to move and scrape paint across the surface.

signed on reverse, upper left: "Necklace/for mary c/a/c 1980/Jack Whitten/40x52"
Gift of Best Products Co., Inc.
Jack Whitten: 1970-1980, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, October 10, 1983 – April 13, 1984

Marcel Duchamp's Mother's Potato-Masher and Other Works of Art: A Gift of Best Products Co. Inc., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, March 23 – May 13, 1990; The Arts Center, Portsmouth Museums, Portsmouth, VA, January 11 – February 27, 1992
© Jack Whitten

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.