A Discussion of the Artist Jack Whitten and His Understanding of Greek and African Art

The the article “Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture” by Katy Siegel, presents the story of artist Jack Whitten, an American-born artist of African American descent, whose travels to Greece and unique cultural heritage greatly influenced not only his own art but the understanding of art culture as well. Jack Whitten. due to his race, experienced the effects of segregation in his early life, however, he was able to overcome this strife and attend art school in New York. This helped Jack realizes that there were more places he wanted to explore and learn from, Together, with his new wife, he stayed in Greece for a time, enjoying the freedom and historically rich country.

However, as Whitten matured, he felt drawn to understand his roots better. He began studying African Art and its connection with his heritage. It is this niche that he found a great connection too. Whitten‘s understanding of both Greek and African art led his to create and inspire with a better understanding of how culture influences art.

Perhaps some of the most compelling aspects of the article relate to the insight that Whitten brings to both Greek and African art. The descriptions of Crete are given as “primordial”, “primitive”, and “traditional”. Whitten also speaks that Crete is the end of the Westem World with Africa just across the water, this small divide between two vastly different cultures. Yet, Whitten is able to find some small similarities, where the two worlds meett This idea that this area of the world is the beginning of mankind, a type of old that is nearly for today’s humanity to fathom, stirs intrigue.

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It seems Whitten also shared this curiosity and found himself drawn from Crete further into a desire to understand the roots of humanity into Africa. Here he found an even older sense of tradition.

Whitten‘s description of the plasticity of African art. shows a heightened understanding of how nature and materials plays a pan in African culture. This is an important aspect of African art. that I will remember from this point forward. The choice of materials used. the textures, colors, and other aesthetic choices all come from the environment around them and speak uniquely of Africa. What the art is made of is almost more important than the subject matter or purpose. I can appreciate the spiritual relationship of the use of such materials and the connection to the African culture. It is also of interest that Whitten suggests that the African culture is typically present from the modern an despite having been the originator of abstract art. I felt as if this area of the article might could have used a little more explanation One wonders if Whitten meant modern art coming only from Africans or that exhibits also lacked African American modern an?

Given that this seems to be a statement given by him in the 1970s, and the exhibition of African an was still limited perhaps the answer would be both. But the idea of African Americans only beginning to experience and connect to their past through their historic African primitive art in the 1970’s shows how segregation slowed the spread of art equality. I also had not thought much about the importance of African Art in the development of abstract art, but after the article pointed out this statement. one can see the influence and similarities quite clearly. This should be recognized more in the art world and an history. It certainly seems true that African art gains very little attention from the art world and in the study of art, appearing in very few art history books and typically primitive in nature when it does appear. I can also appreciate Whitten‘s interest in traditional tools. Whitten seems to have an interest in keeping with tradition and trying to learn to create art in a similar way that his ancestors may have done so, By creating this way, he is able to create different techniques that

may have been forgotten or not easily recreated with today’s power tools. This also gives a greater appreciation and understanding of how similar items were made and created originally. I found the statement “We are in the primitive stages of technology” compellingly. Whitten seems to feel that modern teaching has their place but not at the expense of replacing all traditional knowledge. Whitten instead tries to incorporate the learning of both so that knowledge progresses. Like, may of us, Whitten fears for the future, particularly that of the environment of the Western World in which many have simply discarded traditional teachings and continue to wreak havoc on the world we live in. Overall, I find this article about written to be very enlightening based on the statements given. Whitten seems to be an individual who greatly values cultural heritage, tradition, and creating an understanding of the past and present environment. Whitten has a particularly intuitive personality that allows him to access not just the inspiration to make art but to also understand the spiritual process of doing so. Whitten used an as a way to learn more about his personal history, create his present path in life, and determine how he feels that the future might progress.

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A Discussion of the Artist Jack Whitten and His Understanding of Greek and African Art. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-discussion-of-the-artist-jack-whitten-and-his-understanding-of-greek-and-african-art/

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