Copyright Jennifer Whitten. All Rights Reserved.
Born in 1984, Jennifer Whitten is an American artist living and painting in Melbourne, Australia. In 2008, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis/Sam Fox School of Art and Design and in 2015 she received a Master of Contemporary Art from The Victorian College of the Arts. Jennifer was the recipient of the prestigious inaugural Athenaeum Club Visual Arts Research Award in 2015.
For years, my artistic investigations have navigated the aestheticization of absence and loss, nostalgia and regret. Most recently, after an encounter in Italy with a collection of 18th Century reverse glass paintings, I determined that glass would be an ideal conduit for the communication of these themes. The interruptions, the lacunae within the painted surfaces demand the viewer’s contemplation in a manner usually reserved for positive space; however, it is only by the fractured framework the paint provides that a viewer might accept the virgin glass as lacunary.
The challenge of painting in reverse and on a surface like glass has been truly stimulating and inspired me to consider possibilities beyond the boundaries of traditional painting surfaces. The inclusion of steel was a pivotal moment in the development of this current body; its rawness, severity and strength proved it capable in the role of Atlas to support the autobiographical pith contained within the works. The interplay of paint, glass and steel welcomed a fractal of other possibilities, including the incorporation of video, music and complex installation.