Douglas Witmer: Ring the Bells Anew, Recent Paintings, Blank Space, New York, NY

Douglas Witmer, Things Mean a Lot at the Time, 2010
Acrylic on unprimed canvas, 20 x 24 inches

March 4-27, 2010

Blank Space Gallery presents Ring The Bells Anew, an exhibition of recent paintings by Douglas Witmer. This is the artist’s third solo show in New York, and his first with the gallery.

Over the past decade, Witmer has gained increasing attention for his uniquely distilled sensibility related to his paintings’ surface and color. His recent canvases feature one or two rectangles of solid color on top of and interacting with varied gray washes that cascade down the painting’s surface. Though reductive in their attitude and appearance, the resulting works are anything but “minimal.”

Contrary to first impressions, Witmer’s compositions are not planned or diagrammed. For the artist, painting is a process of inquiry; each piece is an individual result of decisions made intuitively and directly.

The critic and art historian Vittorio Colaizzi has written, “Witmer paints the inheritance of modernist abstraction, and perhaps, metaphorically, the more ecumenical spirituality of today, in the openness of his compositions, their perpetual almost-ness, and their refusal of closure or perfection.”

About the title for this exhibition the artist states, “I am trying to underscore the idea that my paintings embody new acts of declaration using long-existing means. Taken further, it communicates a hope in the continued relevance of abstract painting.”

Douglas Witmer holds a B.A. from Goshen College and an M.F.A. from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In New York his work has recently appeared at P.S.1/MoMA in the group exhibition “Minus Space,” as well as The Painting Center and M55 Art in Long Island City. Other recent venues include: Pharmaka in Los Angeles, Gallery Siano in Philadelphia, The University of Maryland, The University of Dayton in Ohio, Sydney Non-Objective in Australia, and Bus-Dori Project Space in Tokyo, Japan. He lives and works in Philadelphia.