Artist's Lecture

Richard Whitten

Saturday September 20th 


A discussion on the change in time, thought, and also a fascination in the illusion of movement in what is otherwise a static medium: painting

One recurring theme I have in my dreams deals with the discovery of hidden beautiful architectural spaces. In these dreams, I see unknown buildings or hidden passages from building to building. In the dream, I make efforts to get to them and explore them. Sometimes, I can explore them in the same dream. Sometimes, I find them again in another dream—years later.

My paintings imply the existence of places and of objects of desire that, like the garden in Alice in Wonderland, can be glimpsed but not reached or acquired. It was once suggested to me that my paintings looked like they were painted from memory. This suggests that the imagination is, perhaps, memory in reverse.

I am curious about the nature of the conceptual transformation that occurs when places and things are represented as an image. They seem to become heightened in importance – perhaps transformed into an ideal, a memory, or a desire. One must ask: is the experience of “seeing and wanting” superior to “having”?

-Artist's Statement , Dedee Shattuck Gallery September 2014

Richard Whitten earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Painting from the University of California at Davis where he studied with both Wayne Thiebaud and Robert Arneson. He has had numerous exhibitions on both coasts. Notable are major solo exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, and The Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. He is presently a Professor of Painting at Rhode Island College. Visit Richard Whitten's website here.      |      508. 636. 4177      |      1 Partners' Lane, Westport, MA 02790      |      W - Sat, 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5