Richard Whitten


Le Balcon
Oil and copper leaf on wood panel
44" x 37"


Les Nymphéas
Oil, copper, and gold leaf on wood panel
47" x 55"

Richard Whitten

My paintings are about intellectual play. I think intellectual play is not only the basis of learning but also synonymous with fascination and delight.

Typically, I depict a mechanical device incorporated into classical architecture. That device, and the painting as a whole, is propelled into motion or "animated" by the viewer’s glance or “touch."

What one notices first about my paintings is that they are objects – shaped but entirely flat wood panels. They exist, like sculpture, in the world of the viewer. The viewer is meant to have an almost physical sense of the transition through the painted surface­s– to feel as if their hand could pass through the paintings into a world on the other side. I try to describe that world so precise that it rivals reality. Nevertheless, the paintings are not photographic. I have no interest in making a picture of a thing. The space I create, although precise, can be surprising and confounding.

Ultimately, the viewer must ask what it means to perceive reality and what that reality might actually be.

Richard Whitten