Jerome Witkin

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Vincent Van Gogh and Death, mixed media, 84 x 48 in.

In the wake of Lucian Freud’s recent death,  another great contemporary figure painter comes to the fore, Jerome Witkin, with a 40-year retrospective promised at Syracuse University, where Witkin, in his 70s, still teaches. Witkin has always been more of a story-teller than Freud, who, it seems,  allowed the flesh itself to speak without feeling compelled to construct narrative contexts for its meanings. Witkin, on the other hand is the consummate story teller, as art historian and critic John Seed explores in the following article. Witkin is also the master draughtsman, colorist, composer, and paint manipulator, bringing all of his force to bear on the realization of his ideas. Witkin is, in this writer’s opinion, one of our greatest living figure painters, if not the greatest.

Pensione Ichino, oil on canvas, 53″ x 120,” 1997

John Seed: Jerome Witkin: Painting History, Memory, and Fantasy.


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