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Exhibitions/ Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963–2017

Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963–2017

September 6–December 2, 2018

Exhibition Catalogue

Gorgeously illustrated, this landmark exploration of Whitten's life and career features major new texts, an interview with the artist, and more

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Exhibition Overview

This exhibition presents the extraordinary and previously unknown sculptures of acclaimed American artist Jack Whitten (1939–2018). Whitten's sculptures, which he first created in New York and later at his summer home on Crete, consist of carved wood, often in combination with found materials sourced from his local environment, including bone, marble, paper, glass, nails, and fishing line. Inspired by art-historical sources rooted in Africa, the ancient Mediterranean, and the Southern United States, Whitten's sculptures not only address the themes of place, memory, family, and migration, they also give expression to a transnational, cosmopolitan perspective.

Forty sculptures are joined by eighteen of the artist's paintings, including his entire Black Monolith series, dedicated to African American leaders in art and politics, and by sixteen works of African, Mycenaean, Minoan, Cycladic, and American art from The Met's distinguished collection.

Accompanied by a catalogue and Audio Guide.


Featured Media


The Legacy of Jack Whitten


"Surprises abound . . . a gorgeous, loquacious exhibition" —New York Times

The exhibition is made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Exhibition Objects

Jack Whitten (American, 1939–2018). The Tomb of Socrates (detail), 2009. Wild cypress, black mulberry, marble, brass, mixed media, 26 x 20 1/2 x 8 1/4 in. (66 x 52 x 21 cm). Collection of the Artist's Estate. © The Estate of Jack Whitten. Courtesy The Estate of Jack Whitten and Hauser & Wirth