The first publication to delve deeply into Jack Whitten’s Greek Alphabet series (1975–78), this volume highlights these remarkable series, which consists of variations on abstract, black-and-white abstract compositions as a concept- and process-based experiment that marked a juncture in the artist’s painting practice. For these works, Whitten employed handmade tools and techniques including the comb, imprint, and frottage. The Greek Alphabet works are here illuminated through essays by art historian Courtney J. Martin and Dia curators Donna De Salvo and Matilde Guidelli-Guidi. Authors Gregg Bordowitz and Fred Moten provide poetic reflections on Whitten’s art, biography, and cultural importance. Never-before published materials from Whitten’s archives, including his own personal writings, supplement this unprecedented publication.
In his lifetime, Whitten never had the opportunity to exhibit more than a handful of these works. In publishing a significant number of these paintings together for the first time—with 40 color plates representing the 60-some paintings in the series—Jack Whitten: The Greek Alphabet Series makes possible a fuller appreciation of the formal and material permutations of Whitten’s practice.
Dia Art Foundation
9 x 10.1 inches
Edited by Donna De Salvo, Matilde Guidelli-Guidi, and Deirdre O’Dwyer, with essays by Greg Bordowitz, De Salvo, Guidelli-Guidi, Courtney J. Martin, and Fred Moten; and documentation from Jack Whitten’s personal archive
Jack Whitten was born in Bessemer, Alabama, in 1939. Whitten died in New York City in 2018.