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Jack Whitten is an African American abstract painter. Jack Whitten was born in Bessemer, Alabama in the year 1939. His father worked in the coal mines and was killed when the artist was a child. His mother was a seamstress.

Whitten attended the Tuskegee Institute where he spent some time training as a fighter pilot, and to work in the medical field.

Below we view a retrospective show celebrating the artists five decades of work:


Whitten went on to study art at the Southern University located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After becoming involved in many dangerous civil rights demonstrations the artist decided to relocate to the North and New York City where he didn’t face so many racial obstacles.

Price range information: Works range from $20,000 to the low six figures.

The artist has shown his work at the Whitney Museum located in New York City.

Whitten splits his time between Queens, New York and the country of Greece.

In this clip we catch up with the great James Kalm to view a show featuring the work of Jack Whitten:

The artist is a past recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Whitten has a great sense of color and build up of layers of paint in his work. His work also has a great feeling of movement across the surface. Whitten’s work reminds of the artist Gerhard Richter.