Studiolo: Richard Whitten
January 15–April 30, 2016
Richard Whitten, who lives and works in Rhode Island, exhibits a stunning assortment of shaped paintings, whimsical sculptures and preparatory drawings that offer visitors a unique view into the creative process. The title of the exhibition, Studiolo, reveals much about the artist’s work as objects of inquiry. (A studiolo is a small room found in affluent fifteenth-century homes, often elaborately decorated and set aside for study and contemplation). Whitten’s paintings depict imagined machines within Romanesque and Renaissance style architecture.
Whitten states, “These paintings imply the existence of places and objects of desire that, like the garden in Alice in Wonderland, can be glimpsed, but not reached or acquired. I am intensely curious about the nature of the conceptual transformation that occurs when objects I have constructed are represented as an image.” Whitten’s complex three-dimensional toy-machine models featured in the exhibition are used as references for the curious objects that occupy his shaped compositions.