On View February 2024.
Engineering, mathematics, technology, and art come together in the 4,000 square foot Main Gallery of the Morris Museum. Artist and professor Richard Whitten depicts improbable yet compelling invented machines in Renaissance-styled architectural spaces. These paintings invite the viewer to enter another world to experience a new kind of space and motion. Whitten meticulously fabricates wood panels to evoke the silhouettes of Chinese architecture and domestic interiors.
Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten connects directly with the museum’s historic Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Whitten’s paintings, many paired with kinetic three-dimensional prototypes, reveal nineteenth-century technology in action.
Richard Whitten studied Economics, Math, and Art at Yale University, receiving a BA with Honors in Economics. The son of an American businessman and a Chinese painter, Whitten worked as a commodity futures broker before receiving a Regents Fellowship and an MFA in painting at the University of California at Davis. He joined the faculty at Rhode Island College in 2006 and is represented by ArtMora Gallery in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA, William•Scott Gallery in Provincetown, MA, and the Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, CA.
This exhibition is curated by Anne Ricculli, Ph.D., Director of Exhibits and Collections, Morris Museum.
Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten is made possible by leadership support from Will and Mary Leland.
Richard Whitten gratefully acknowledges generous support from Rhode Island Council on the Arts (RISCA); Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Artist’s Resource Trust; Golden Apple Art Residency, Harrington, Maine; and Rhode Island College.
Image Caption: Richard Whitten, Tellurian, 2021, oil on wood panel, 46 x 30 inches. On loan from the collection of Roger and Sara Preston. Photography by David DeMelim is courtesy of the artist.