Slip Zone


Jack Whitten ( American, 1939 - 2018 )

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General Description

Jack Whitten created _Slip Zone _during a pivotal period of experimentation and innovation. In this work, the artist abandoned handmade gesture and brushstroke; instead, paint and canvas were "processed" through a technique using large paint filled troughs through which he dragged the canvas, with sticks, rakes, and Afro-combs used to create surface texture. Critical to the development of Whitten's new process-based approach to painting was a grant he received from the Xerox Corporation around 1970, inviting him and three other artists to experiment with their machines and work with Xerox engineers. The experience of witnessing the effect of toner, light, and time on the mechanical manufacture of an image led Whitten to conclude that he could at once expand his own gesture while removing his hand from the process.

Adapted from

  • Charles Wylie, Re-Seeing the Contemporary: Selected from the Collection, Label text, 2010.
  • Jeffrey Grove, DMA unpublished material, 2010.