Douglas Witmer: New Paintings

Exhibition Info
Historic Landmark Building
Douglas Witmer's recent group of paintings are an inquiry into the materiality of seeing

Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 28, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The Alumni Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) was pleased to exhibit new work by Douglas Witmer (MFA '01). 

Witmer’s work intuitively combines simple geometric imagery, emphatic color, and subtle manipulation of surface physicality. It is an inquiry into the materiality of seeing, perception, feeling and memory.

Witmer states, "In the 21st century, I see my work as offering a clear alternative in a visual culture dominated by speed, layering, and complexity. My hope is that it can activate the sense that you simply feel yourself seeing. I like to think of that kind of moment as clear, pure, innocent, and solitary. And if you can get to it, then you have, in a way, started an experiential engine for yourself, and your thoughts can begin to move in uniquely personal directions."

Witmer's paintings feature solid geometric forms that span across more ephemeral wash-like grounds.  Elemental and reductive at first glance, with heavy emphasis on color and surface physicality, Witmer's paintings result from a completely intuitive and additive painting process where every decision is made on the surface. 

Douglas Witmer has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 1995. His work has been the subject of over 10 solo exhibitions across the U.S., as well as curated group shows internationally. In 2011 an exhibition spanning a decade of the artist's work was mounted at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Other venues include: MoMA PS1, Blank Space Art and The Painting Center, all in New York City; The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Gray Contemporary in Houston, Some Walls in Oakland, Calif., The University of Maryland, The University of Dayton, ParisCONCRET, Sydney Non-Objective. In the Philadelphia area, his work has recently been exhibited at The Icebox at Crane Arts, The University of Delaware Art Gallery, Rowan University, Camden County College, and at the noted artist collective Tiger Strikes Asteroid, of which he is a member. His work is in the collections of The Woodmere Art Museum, The Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska, and The Fellowship of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as numerous corporate and private collections internationally.

** For more information about the Alumni Gallery, contact Tish Ingersoll at TIngersoll@pafa.org; 215-391-4187 **

Black Key (No.3), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Black Key (No.3), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Black Key (No. 5), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Black Key (No. 5), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Black Key (No. 13), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Black Key (No. 13), 2006, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Poets' Pages, 2015, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 in.
Poets' Pages, 2015, Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 in.
For Sure, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
For Sure, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
If There Is Indeed Such A Thing, 2015, lack gesso and acrylic on linen, 35 x 28 in.
If There Is Indeed Such A Thing, 2015, lack gesso and acrylic on linen, 35 x 28 in.
Can I Hold It?, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
Can I Hold It?, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
 Love is Natural and Real, 2012, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
Love is Natural and Real, 2012, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 28 in.
As If, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on linen, 48 x 37 in.
As If, 2014, black gesso and acrylic on linen, 48 x 37 in.
Did Your Heart Succeed?, 2015, black gesso and acrylic on linen, 48 x 37 in.
Did Your Heart Succeed?, 2015, black gesso and acrylic on linen, 48 x 37 in.
When In Doubt, 2015, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 37 in.
When In Doubt, 2015, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 37 in.

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