Jack Whitten, a neglected artist who embraced African and expressionist art

JACK Whitten, the African-American painter and sculptor who died Sunday at 78, was once given a tour of St Catherine’s Monastery, at Mount Sinai. His guide, a young monk, led him down into the ossuary – “room after room of bones, of every monk who had served at St Catherine’s.”

“This monk,” he told the cultural forum Brooklyn Rail last year, “said, ‘I understand you are a professor.’ I said, ‘Yes sir, humbly so.’ And he said to me, ‘Here,’ pointing to the bones, ‘they are the professors and we are the students.’ “

In departing this world, Whitten leaves behind not just bones but an extraordinary body of work that, after decades of neglect, is just beginning to receive its due. It has a lot to teach us.

In an art world lately bent on rediscovering neglected artists – not all of them deserving – Whitten is the

Article source: http://borneobulletin.com.bn/jack-whitten-a-neglected-artist-who-embraced-african-and-expressionist-art/

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