Studio, 2015
Douglas Witmer (American, b. 1971) is an internationally exhibiting artist based in Philadelphia.

Over two decades, Witmer has steadily pursued a personal inquiry into the materiality of seeing, perception, feeling and memory. He currently makes and exhibits several distinct but related bodies of work, all of which center on color-driven visual experiences resulting from direct, economical and conscious actions.

Witmer has said: “In the 21st century, I see my work as offering a clear alternative in a visual culture dominated by speed, layering, and complexity. I do not believe my work requires any prequisite knowledge beyond what you bring to it. 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.”

This speaks to a sense of the artist’s personal history having been raised in the Mennonite culture of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with deep connections to simplicity, peacemaking, and humility.

Witmer’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions. 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, FL. Other recent venues include: MoMA PS1, Blank Space Art, and The Painting Center (all NYC), The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Philadelphia), The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Gray Contemporary (Houston), Some Walls (Oakland), The University of Maryland, The University of Dayton, ParisCONCRET (France), Sydney Non-Objective (Australia), and Sol del Rio Arte Contemporanea (Guatemala City). 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.



2001 M.F.A., The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
1993 B.A., Goshen College, Indiana

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017
    Dubh Glas, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia

  • 2016
    Verse and Chorus, Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX

  • 2015
    fourpart, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia
    Douglas Witmer, Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX
    Recent Paintings, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia

  • 2013
    All Kinds of Ways to Your Garden, Blank Space Art, New York
    The School Papers, NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA

  • 2011
    I Found A Reason, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL (catalogue)
    Fruitville / The School Papers, AxD Gallery, Philadelphia

  • 2010
    Ring the Bells Anew, Blank Space Art, New York
    Fruitville, Some Walls, Oakland, CA

  • 2009
    Field + Stream, Project Room, The Painting Center, New York
    Joseph’s Coat, The Philadelphia Cathedral
    Joseph’s Coat, Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, MN

  • 2008
    Today is the Day, M55 Art, Long Island City, NY

  • 2006
    The Black Keys, and Other Paintings, Gallery Siano, Philadelphia, PA
    Contemplation, Red Door Gallery, Richmond, VA

  • 2002
    New Paintings, Peng Gallery, Philadelphia
    Douglas Witmer, Goshen College, Goshen, IN

  • 1997
    Recent Paintings, University City Arts League, Philadelphia.
    Recent Paintings, University of Montana―Western, Dillon


    Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017
    Cities Like Dreams, Swamps Where Cedars Grow, The Provincial, Cheif, MI
    Combined, Gray Contemporary, Houston
    Better Late Than Ugly, oqbo–raum für bild wort ton, Berlin, Germany

  • 2016
    Alen Alldredge, Lisa Weiss and Douglas Witmer, Aberson Exhibits, Tulsa, OK
    Opaque Transparency–Leiden Edition, IS Projects, Leiden, The Netherlands
    Rien a voir, curated by Jonathan F. Walz, Institute for American Art, Portland, ME
    Look Both Ways, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia

  • 2015
    Tiger Strikes Asteroid at The Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
    Opaque Transparency, Look & Listen, Saint-Chamas, France
    Therely Bare (Redux), Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN
    LINEAR FUNCTION–Alex Mayer, Nick Primo, and Douglas Witmer, Hemphill Fine Arts Carroll Square Gallery, Washington, DC
    Acquired, Occasional Gallery, Burlington, WA

  • 2014
    Three-person exhibition: Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Tim McFarlane, and Douglas Witmer, Gray Contemporary, Houston
    Tiger Strikes Asteroid at (e)merge Art Fair, Washington, DC
    DEPENDENCIA inDEPENDENCIA, Galleria Sol del Rio, Guatemala City, Guatemala
    Should I Stay or Should I Go?, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
    BalletX Benefit Invitational, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia
    Aloe Vera, Gray Contemporary, Houston
    To Tiger With Love, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia
    Mark Wethli and Douglas Witmer, ICON Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME
    Off Line and On Mark – Alain Biltereyst, Katrin Bremermann, Erin Lawlor, Lael Marshall, Don Voisine, Michael Voss, and Douglas Witmer, Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn, NY

  • 2013
    Geometry As Sign–works by Timothy App and Douglas Witmer, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
    Manic Episode 4, T.A.S. (Temporary Art Space), Groningen, The Netherlands
    Chorus Effect, curated by Tabatha Piseno, FJORD and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia
    A Random Walk, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ
    Porquoi Pas…/Why Not?…, international biennial of non-objective art, Pont de Claix, France
    Light Conversation, Key Projects, Ridgewood, New York
    Correspondence II, TSA Gallery, Brooklyn
    Reason and Romance, 6b Gallery, Elingen, Belgium
    BalletX Benefit Invitational, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia
    Signs and Systems, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
    What I Like About You, organized by Julie Torres, Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn
    Winter Down, curated by Ryan McCartney and Timothy Belknap, The Icebox, Philadelphia
    Surface as Signifier, University of Delaware Art Gallery at Crane Arts, Philadelphia

  • 2012
    The Subjective Object : Louise Blyton, Roland Orepuk & Douglas Witmer, ParisCONCRET, Paris France
    Surface as Signifier, Marlin Gallery, Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ
    Manic Episode 3, Kunstlerhaus Dosenfabrik, Hamburg Germany
    Never Underestimate a Monochrome, on-line curatorial project organized by Mariángeles Soto-Díaz
    for the University of Iowa Museum of Art. http://neverunderstimateamonochrome.org
    Douglas Witmer and Peter Zeebley, Studio:Christensen, Philadelphia
    West Philly Abstraction, University City Arts League, Philadelphia
    Crystal Days (with Timothy Buckwalter and Michael McFeat), Sugar, Philadelphia
    West Philly Abstraction, University City Arts League, Philadelphia

  • 2011
    Flirting With Abstraction, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia (catalogue)
    Painted, Painted, Pressed, C2 Fine Art, St. Petersburg, FL
    Faction, University of Dayton
    The Life of the World to Come : Chase the Tear, NIAD Art Center, Richmond CA
    Streamline, C2 Fine Art, St. Petersburg
    It’s All Good (Apocalypse Now!), Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

  • 2010
    Informal Relations, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, IN
    Escape from New York, The Engine Room, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
    Invitational Exhibition of Small Works, New Arts Program, Kutztown PA
    Ready, Willing, and Able Benefit, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia

  • 2009
    Preview 2010, Blank Space Gallery, New York
    I Decree Today, Marx Gallery, Covington, KY
    Touch Faith, Semantics, Cincinnati, OH
    246 Editions, Pocket Utopia, Brooklyn
    Back on My Feet Benefit, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia
    My Certain Fate, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA
    Escape from New York, Project Space Spare Room, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

  • 2008
    Minus Space, P.S.1/MoMA, New York, NY
    Reload, M55 Art, Long Island City, NY
    Considerable, University of Dayton, OH

  • 2007
    Escape from New York, Sydney Non-Objective, Sydney, Australia
    Survey, 2007, Gallery Siano, Philadelphia
    Across the Borderline, University of Dayton, OH. (2-person, collaborative works with Chris Ashley)
    I Walk the Line―Three Abstract Artists in the 21st Century, University of Maryland, College Park
    (with Mary Early and Linn Meyers)

  • 2006
    Suitcase, Bus-Dori project space, Tokyo, Japan

  • 2005
    Pfenninger Gallery, Lancaster, PA
    The Urban Canvas, Gallery Siano, Philadelphia

  • 2004
    From the Studio, Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia.
    Repetition and Transformation, The Philadelphia Cathedral

  • 2003
    Peng Gallery, Philadelphia. (3-person with Dennis Lo and Leslie Wagner)

  • 2002
    New Talent, Signal 66, Washington, DC
    White Light, The Beehive Salon, Philadelphia.
    From Abstraction to Representation, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

  • 2001
    3rd Annual Young Painters Competition for the William and Dorothy Yeck Award, Miami University of Ohio, Oxford
    Art in City Hall, Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia


    Related Experience

    2015 Visiting Artist, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
    Visiting Artist/Lecture, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
    2014 Panel discussion, Contemporary Philadelphia Abstraction, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia
    2013 Panel discussion, Surface as Signifier, University of Delaware
    2012 Selected as one of nine artists for Philadelphia’s inaugural Art CSA program, administered by Tiger Strikes Asteroid and Grizzly Grizzly artist collectives with funding by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
    Gallery Committee, University City Arts League, Philadelphia
    2011 Thomas P. Johnson Visiting Scholar, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL.
    2009 Visiting Artist/Lecture, Goshen College, IN
    2007 Lecture, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York City
    Visiting Artist/Critic, University of Dayton, OH
    2006 Artist-in-Residence/Critic/Lecture, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City
    2005-present Artist selection committee, 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program, administered by
    The University of Pennsylvania
    2005 Artist-in-Residence, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore / Glen Arbor Art Association Glen Arbor, MI
    2002 Visiting Artist/Lecture, Goshen College, IN
    2000 Residency Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson



  • 2015
    Jenkins, Mark, “In The Galleries—Line and Function Intersect,” The Washington Post, April 10
    Singer, Matthew, “In Other Words: The Spirit of Fraktur in Modern and Contemporary Art,” Framing Fraktur, ed. Judith Tannenbaum, Philadelphia: The Free Library of Philadelphia / University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • 2014
    Panero, James, “Gallery Chronicle,” The New Criterion, http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Gallery-chronicle-7929, June
    Raymond, David, “Mark Wethli and Douglas Witmer at ICON Contemporary Art,” Art New England, (in print and online) June/July
    Tommaney, Jim J., “Gray Contemporary Hosts A Bright Colorful Show with Aloe Vera, Houston Press, http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2014/08/aloe_vera.php, August 18.

  • 2013
    Alexander, Steven, “Douglas Witmer at Blank Space,” Steven Alexander Journal, http://stevenalexanderjournal.blogspot.com, March 3.
    Brennan, Valerie, “Douglas Witmer” (interview), Studio Critical, http://studiocritical.blogspot.com, February 25
    Fabbri, Anne R., “The Medium is the Message,” Broad Street Review, http://www.broadstreetreview.com, March 2
    Mattera, Joanne, “Painting in Chelsea,” Joanne Mattera Art Blog, http://joannemattera.blogspot.com, March 3
    Newhall, Edith, “Galleries : August Abstraction,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26
    Newhouse, Sam, “Chase the Dog Days Away—A Summer Themed Show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid,” The ArtBlog, http://theartblog.org, August 19
    Schwartz, Chip, “Little Barnes on the Prairie—Winter Down’s Jewelbox Salon at the Crane’s Icebox,” The Artblog, http://theartblog.org, January 13
    Schwartz, Chip, “Six Artists with Summery Abstraction at Tiger Strikes Asteroid,” Knight Arts Blog, http://knightarts.org, August 8

  • 2012
    Rosof, Libby, “Douglas Witmer on art and modesty” (interview), The Artblog, http://theartblog.org, June 1
    Mason-Gaines, Joel and Megan Matuzak, “University City: Making Space for the Arts,” Philadelphia Neighborhoods, http://sct.temple.edu/blogs/murl/, April 30
    Rosenthal, James, “Crystal Days at Sugar,” Pocket Intellectual, http://pocketintellectual.blogspot.com, March 13.
    Rosof, Libby, “West Philadelphia Looking is Good, The ArtBlog, http://theartblog.org, March 22.
    Sexton, Courtney, “Pop-up Art, Palpable Connections, and Papermade Fabulousness,” City Paper : Critical Mass blog, http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/criticalmass/CURATOR-March-9.html, March 9.

  • 2011
    Ashley, Chris, “A Way to Be in the World,” catalogue essay for I Found A Reason, Cornell Fine Arts
    Museum, Rollins College, July.
    Cognard-Black, Jennifer, “Streamline,” essay for exhibition of the same title, C2 Fine Art, St. Petersburg, July.
    D’Alesandro, Dennis, “Douglas Witmer’s Fruitville and School Papers at AxD,” The Artblog, Mar 15.
    Young, Jessica Bryce, “Pulp Fictions—Douglas Witmer’s meditative works on wood and paper,” Orlando Weekly,
    August 18.

  • 2010
    Ashley, Chris, “Fruitville,” essay for exhibition of the same title, Some Walls, Oakland CA.
    http://somewalls.com, June
    Gierschick, P. Timothy, “Douglas Witmer at Blank Space Gallery,” Gierschickwork,
    http://gierschickwork.blogspot.com, March 16

  • 2009
    Kirsch, Andrea, “Philadelphia Notes: Contemplative Minimalism” The ArtBlog, http://theartblog.org, February 9
    Mattera, Joanne, “Witmer and Patterson at The Painting Center,” Joanne Mattera Art Blog,
    http://joannemattera.blogspot.com, June 17

  • 2008
    Hallard, Brent, “How Soon is Now?,” interview, Visual Discrepancies blog, http://brenthallard.wordpress.com,
    December 5

  • 2007
    Collaizi, Vittorio, “A Vigilant Turn from Complacency,” Brick Weekly, Richmond VA, January 11.
    Koo, Li, “Gallery Notes: I Walk the Line,” podcast interview, University of Maryland, March.
    Newhall, Edith, “Summery Summary,” The Philadelphia Inquirer,” August 3
    Wagner, Laura, “‘Art Pals’ Feature Works in Rike,” Dayton Flyer News, January 19

  • 2006
    Strickland, Heather, “Eclecticism on Display at Red Door Gallery, The Collegian, University of Richmond, Dec 7

  • 2005
    Ashley, Chris, “In Conversation with Douglas Witmer,” Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY. December.
    Hallard, Brent, “X Marks the Spot,” Project 131 (on-line), July 2005. www.brenthallard.com
    Hill, Lori, “First Friday Focus: Gallery Siano,” Philadelphia City Paper, Thursday, October 6.
    Holzman, Paula, “Two Takes on the Abstract,” Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, October 21
    Romaniello, Vincent, “Douglas Witmer,” on-line video documentary, www.vincentromaniello.com/vlog, winter Silverthorne, Alexandra, “Artists Interview Artists,” Thinking About Art (on-line), August.

  • 2004
    Doering, Elizabeth H., “Repetition and Transformation,” essay for exhibition of the same title,
    The Philadelphia Cathedral, January
    Fallon, Roberta, “A-List: Repetition and Transformation,” Philadelphia Weekly,” January 21

  • 2002
    Hill, Lori, “First Friday Focus: Peng Gallery,” Philadelphia City Paper, Thursday, April 4
    Patterson, Carrie, “From Abstraction to Representation,” exhibition catalogue essay for exhibition of the
    same title, Andrews Gallery, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, November
    Walz, Jonathan F., “Reality Check,” exhibition brochure essay, Peng Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, April.

  • 2001
    Knapp, Tom, “Uncommon Ground,” Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, August 3



    The Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia
    The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
    The City of Philadelphia
    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
    Duane Morris, LLP, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Singapore,
    Ho Chi Minh City
    Wolf, Block, Schorr, and Solis-Cohen, LLP, Philadelphia
    NanoSystems, King of Prussia, PA
    Private collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia.



    Minus Space flatfile, Brooklyn, NY
    Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia
    Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX
    Sol del Río Arte Contemporánea, Guatemala City, Guatemala
    Geoform, an online scholarly and curatorial project examining geometric form and structure in contemporary abstract art being made by artists from around the world.