26/03/2011 — 14/05/2011
David Whitaker was a painter who over the course of his 40 year career obsessively persevered in an exploration of the optical effects of colour, which he realized with extraordinary technical skill through abstract painting.
He turned encounters and personal experiences of natural phenomena into hard edged paintings, consisting of geometrically determined linear rhythms and directions. The repetitive processes he employed in his practice produced colour fields in which the general colour surface is the accumulative effect of several acts.
The colour of each of the bands which cover his canvases can imperceptibly shift and change over the course of their length. At times tranquillity ensues, while other works dazzle the eyes. At all times his work cultivates the mind and soothes the soul.
Whitaker rose to prominence early in his career. A solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 1970 was followed by inclusion in Hayward Gallery’s ‘British Painting 74’. Between these major exhibitions he was awarded the Mark Rothko Memorial Award upon the recommendation of Bridget Riley which enabled him to travel and work in America. He continued to show regularly in the UK and internationally throughout his career.
Born in Blackpool in 1938, and having first studied at the Blackpool School of Art, it is poignant that this is the first retrospective exhibition of Whitaker’s work. It includes paintings from across his entire career; from the 1960’s to work produced shortly before his death in 2007.
Installation images of David Whitaker: Painitngs 1968 - 2006 can be seen here.
The exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.