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Washington Post review + Last chance to see shows in Phila & DC

LAST CALL! Two of my exhibitions are closing soon!

You have two more days to view Recent Paintings at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. It ends Sunday April 12. Creating a suite of paintings for the historic gallery space was a great experience. It was also gratifying to return to my alma mater to give a lecture and be a visiting critic. Exhibition views are here if you can’t make the show.

Meanwhile, Linear Function at Hemphill Fine Art’s Carroll Square Gallery ends April 24 in Washington DC. The Washington Post has just published a terrific review of this exhibition. There are several installation views over on my studio Facebook page.

Have a terrific rest of the spring!



Shows in Washington & Philadelphia | Artist Talk Feb 25

Douglas Witmer — Recent paintings
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Alumni Gallery, Historic Landmark Building
118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia
January 28 — April 12, 2015
JUST ADDED — Artist talk: Wednesday February 25, 7pm

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: For his exhibition in the PAFA Alumni Gallery, Witmer has created a group of paintings keyed to function as a suite in the historic gallery of the Victorian-era Frank Furness building. The paintings feature solid geometric forms that span across more ephemeral wash-like grounds. Elemental and reductive at first glance, with heavy emphasis on color and surface physicality, Witmer’s paintings result from a completely intuitive and additive painting process where every decision is made on the surface.
EXHIBITION VIEWS HERE

In addition to my exhibition, I’d like to highlight a few other things happening at PAFA:
–Robert Ryman’s Philadelphia Prototype
–Markus Linnenbrink’s wall piece therideneverends
And just two blocks from PAFA, I highly recommend the Bill Walton show at Fleisher Ollman Gallery.

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OPENING FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6 IN WASHINGTON DC

LINEAR FUNCTION
February 6 – April 24, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, February 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Hemphill Fine Arts / Carroll Square Gallery
975 F Street NW, Washington DC 20004
202.347.7978
www.hemphillfinearts.com

The exhibition Linear Function presents Alex Mayer, Nick Primo, and Douglas Witmer, artists whose work relies upon a sparing use of line, volume, or color. Each continually refines materials, whether paint and canvas, wood, plaster, or steel, in order to exact the highest performance out of these essential mediums.



Studio News Winter 2015

Happy 2015! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. It gives me great pleasure to announce two exciting things happening–a solo exhibition opening later this month and the recent museum acquisition of one of my works. Read on!

SOLO EXHIBITION OPENS JANUARY 28

Studio view, December 2014.

Studio view, December 2014.


Douglas Witmer — Recent Paintings
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Alumni Gallery, Historic Landmark Building, 128 North Broad Street, Philadelphia
Opening Reception, Wednesday January 28
Exhibition runs thru Sunday April 12

PAFA’s Alumni Gallery is housed within the museum designed by Frank Furness in 1876. As you might imagine, the historic space presents some architectural challenges. I’m preparing a suite of paintings with with the space in mind and I’m looking forward to see how the interaction plays out when my 21st Century paintings meet a Victorian backdrop.

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MUSEUM ACQUISITION

Douglas Witmer, "Silver Rider," 2008.  Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 33 x 40 inches.

“Silver Rider,” 2008. Black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 33×40 inches.

In December, The Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska acquired my 2008 painting “Silver Rider” for its permanent collection. I’m so happy about this placement, as my work is now included among Sheldon’s remarkably strong collection of geometric abstraction, evidenced most recently in the exhibition “The Geometric Unconscious.” And, of course, their beautiful 1963 Philip Johnson building is a classic Modern gem.

Sheldon Museum of Art, University Of Nebraska Lincoln Sheldon Museum of Art Sheldon Museum of Art

As always, thanks for your continued interest in my work.
All best,
DGLS



Studio News | Summer 2014

Douglas Witmer and Mark Wethli at ICON Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME. June 2014.

Some reviews and some news…

Mark Wethli & Douglas Witmer was on view at ICON Contemporary Art in Brunswick, Maine in June.
See more installation views here.
Art New England ran an excellent review (in print and online) written by David Raymond and available here.

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Parallel Art Space in Ridgewood, NY exhibited two large canvases and two works on paper as part of their international group show OFF LINE ON MARK, with Alain Biltereyst, Katrin Bremermann, Erin Lawlor, Lael Marshall, Don Voisine, Michael Voss, and myself May 24–June 22.

The exhibition was the last in Parallel Art Space’s location at the notable 1717 Troutman building. It had extensive viewership and picked up mentions by The New Criterion and The L Magazine.

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NEW GALLERY REPRESENTATION
I’m pleased to have my work now represented in Houston by Gray Contemporary. A selection of works from inventory will be on view in August, with another exhibition forthcoming. Stay tuned for details.

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MORE EXHIBITION NEWS

ON VIEW NOW — “To Tiger With Love,” Tiger Strikes Asteroid‘s Fifth Anniversary group show. My work on paper above is available with all proceeds of the sale going to the future of Tiger programming! Last day is Saturday July 26.
AUGUSTShould I Stay or Should I Go?, group show, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
SEPTEMBERBalletX Benefit Invitational, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia
JANUARY 2015 — Solo exhibition, Alumni Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

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FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK STUDIO PAGE FOR FREQUENT UPDATES



Studio News | Spring 2014

Happy Spring, everyone! Here’s some news from the studio. The next 30 days are BUSY BUSY BUSY (good busy)!

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PANEL DISCUSSION — The Edge of Perception
Neysa Grassi, Jackie Tileston, Douglas Witmer, and Tom Csaszar.
Locks Gallery, Philadelphia
TOMORROW! — Saturday April 26, 3pm

A discussion on approaches to abstraction in contemporary painting with artists, writers, educators, and curators. The talk comes at the culmination of two exhibitions, “Endless Source” with new works by Neysa Grassi and “Message Bearer” with 1980s works by the late artist Warren Rohrer.

The discussion will probe into their respective studio practices while discussing the ongoing critical dialogue around abstract painting. With diverse approaches to abstraction including new representations of external subjects, graphic sensibilities, minimalist aesthetics, and process-oriented outcomes, each will provide a unique perspective on abstract artistic production in Philadelphia today.

Locks Gallery
600 South Washington Square
Philadelphia
Event page on Facebook

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heavylightweight at Tiger Strikes Asteroid
lightness of color and action // gravitas of conviction and tradition // curated by Douglas Witmer
May 2 — June 1, 2014
Reception Friday May 2, 6-10pm

heavylightweight is my new curatorial project for Tiger Strikes Asteroid and is a focused group of paintings selected by Karen Baumeister, Michael Brennan, Jeffery Cortland Jones, Daniel Levine, and the late Warren Rohrer. This is a show of very light work in terms of the dominant color of the paintings and the apparent painting actions with which they were made. Simultaneously, the works in the exhibition demonstrate each artist’s supreme cognizance of their materials and the methods. Even as they make paintings that seem utterly spare, these artists are bonded in relationships deeply grounded in painting’s long and storied history.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid
319 North 11th Street, 2nd fl
Philadelphia PA
Event Page on Facebook

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Off Line and On Mark
Alain Biltereyst, Katrin Bremermann, Erin Lawlor, Lael Marshall, Don Voisine, Michael Voss, and Douglas Witmer
May 24 — June 22, 2014
Opening Reception, Saturday, May 24, 6-9pm

I’m very pleased to be in some terrific international company in this curated group exhibition right in the middle of the Bushwick/Ridgewood action.

Parallel Art Space
1717 Troutman Street, #220
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Mark Wethli and Douglas Witmer
ICON Contemporary Art, Brunswick ME
May 31 — June 28, 2014
Opening Reception, Saturday May 31, 5pm

I can’t begin to describe how much I admire the work of Mark Wethli. So you can imagine it’s my absolute pleasure to show alongside him. Mark will be showing recent works on paper, and I’ll be showing paintings on canvas.

ICON Contemporary Art (facebook page…no website)
19 Mason Street
Brunswick ME 04011

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FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK STUDIO PAGE FOR FREQUENT UPDATES



Happy Holidays

Greetings from West Philadelphia.

I’d like to take this moment to thank you for following and supporting my work this past year.

2013 kicked off with a solo show in New York, and didn’t let up! Over the past year, my work was included in 17 exhibitions across four countries and two continents. In February, I moved my studio from a space in my home, where I worked for the past 7 years, into a new beautiful skylit space nearby in my neighborhood. Another personal highlight for me was the opportunity to curate the exhibition “ICE WATER FLYSWATTER” in August at Tiger Strikes Asteroid. The show received a lot of excellent feedback and press. Finally I had the pleasure of completing a private commission in an historic modernist home outside of Philadelphia. As always, more info can be found in the news section of my website or by following my studio Facebook page.

If that all sounded like a lot, it WAS! I’m greatly looking forward to a coming stretch of less-structured months to work towards some exhibitions in late spring, and also to continue to develop Studio Standard, a new artist services business I launched this past year.

As this year comes to a close, I wish you and your loved ones happy holidays, and most importantly, peace and fulfillment in 2014.

Sincerely,
Douglas Witmer

4919 Pentridge Street, Studio N4
Philadelphia PA 19143 USA
215.498.5754



Studio News | December 2013

School Papers
Geometry As Sign
Douglas Witmer & Timothy App
Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
December 3 – 28, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 5 – 7 pm

This exhibition opens THIS COMING FRIDAY EVENING, December 6 here in Philadelphia. Gross McCleaf is a gallery known mainly for contemporary representational painting, but this past year director Todd Keyser has mounted a few excellent shows of abstraction by artists with national and international reputations. For this exhibition he has chosen a compelling group of my School Papers works on paper. And I’m very honored to be paired with Timothy App, professor at Maryland Institute College of Art, whose work I think is incredible. Here’s a terrific short video about him.

From the press release:
App and Witmer use the medium of painting to redefine fundamental geometric relationships. This redistribution of element – formally, materially, and commutatively – alters the blank piece of paper or the empty canvas. Both App and Witmer complicate the specific dimensions of paper or canvas. For both painters, the challenge is to essentially change those dimensions in some way through the addition or subtraction of geometric shapes; to alter the painting profoundly. These paintings hang on the semantic threshold of communication due to their reductive simplicity. Their special geometry can be associated with tools and recognizable objects, resulting in signs that are ubiquitous in our culture. App and Witmer take delight in participating in making, viewing, and, finally, sharing their discoveries. Their works allows the spectator to reconsider his/her world from a uniquely geometric point of view.

Gross McCleaf Gallery
127 S Sixteenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-665-8138

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Rowan
A Random Walk
Tish Ingersoll, Emily Brett Lukens, Tim McFarlane, Rebecca Rutstein, Tremain Smith, Robert Solomon and Douglas Witmer
November 21 – December 21, 2013
Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ

More School Papers are currently on view in this group exhibition curated by artist Robert Solomon.

From the press release:
“A Random Walk” invites viewers to gain insight into how accident and intention, control and experimentation help bring about what is viewed as the final work. The exhibit is an investigation into seven artists producing abstract work whose “story” is told through personal and habitual mark making. The signature marks included in this exhibition are by Tish Ingersoll, Emily Brett Lukens, Tim McFarlane, Rebecca Rutstein, Tremain Smith, Robert Solomon and Douglas Witmer.

“Careful observation reveals how artists develop a signature by repeating and morphing their ‘mark.’ It follows the history of modern and post-modern abstract painting which has a strong dialogue with geometry,” notes Solomon, a Philadelphia-based artist and designer.

Artists accumulate a body of knowledge through a lifetime of trial and error, accident and intention that defines their particular signature. Initially, a study of geometry and mark making, the theme evolved into an opportunity for the viewer to gain an appreciation of the opposing but necessary processes that help shape contemporary abstract work.

A Random Walk : Pathways into Abstraction
Rowan University Art Gallery
201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, New Jersey

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Manic Episode 4 -- Click to enlarge
Manic Episode 4 — An international group show of non-objective art
T.A.S. Space
Stationstraat 7
Groningen, The Netherlands
December 2013–January2014

This large survey exhibition includes my Fruitville objects, and has been touring in Europe the past 18 months.

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FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK STUDIO PAGE FOR FREQUENT UPDATES



Studio News | Autumn 2013


Light Conversation
Lynne Harlow, Henriëtte van ‘t Hoog, Mary Schirillo, Douglas Witmer
Key Projects, Queens, NYC

Currently on view. An intimate show organized by artist Patricia Zarate in a beautifully scaled room in a pre-war apartment building in Queens, New York.

Light Conversation
Key Projects
September 14 – 29, 2013
Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 1 – 6 PM
and by appointment
4129 41st Street #2G
Long Island City, NY 11104

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Why Not… / Porquoi pas…
Biennale Internationale d’Art Non Objectif, Le Pont-De-Claix, France

This two-part exhibition has just opened in France and includes notable non-objective artists from around the world. I am represented by a group of Fruitville objects in the second installment of the show, opening October 5.

Why Not… / Porquois pas…
Part 1 : opened September 9
Part 2 : opens October 5
Continues through November 8, 2013
Les Moulins de Villancourt
83 cours Saint-André
Le Pont-De-Claix, Rhone-Alpes
France

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Philadelphia Open Studios Tour (POST)

This year my studio will be open as part of the city wide Philadelphia Open Studios Tour. A special PR initiative for the event is called “Made in Philly”, placing artworks on posters in bus and trolley shelters and on train platforms near artists’ studios. My work was selected for this project and is currently visible on the trolley shelter at 53rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, four blocks from my studio.

Douglas Witmer Open Studio — Part of the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour
October 19-20, noon-6pm
Join Facebook Event

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MORE UPCOMING SHOWS — details forthcoming
CITYWIDE–a collective exhibition, Philadelphia, November
A Random Walk , featuring Emily Lukens, Tim McFarlane, Rebecca Rutstein, Tremain Smith, Robert Solomon, Douglas Witmer, Rowan University, Glassboro NJ, November 21 – December 21
Geometry As Sign — Timothy App and Douglas Witmer, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, December 4 – 28, 2013

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RECENT BUT NOTEWORTHY

In August 2013, I curated an international show of abstract painting for Tiger Strikes Asteroid featuring the work of Alain Biltereyst (Belgium), Mary Bucci McCoy (MA), Donald Martiny (NC), Cary Smith (CT), Mark Wethli (ME), Paige Williams (OH).

The exhibition was reviewed three times in the Philadelphia press:

  • Edie Newhall for the Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Sam Newhouse on Philly Artblog
  • Chip Schwartz for the Knight Arts Blog

    More installation views HERE.

    FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK STUDIO PAGE FOR FREQUENT UPDATES



  • Studio News | Summer 2013

    Hello friends. I hope this note finds you well and transitioning smoothly into all that is summer! Here is some news from the studio.


    Benefit Exhibition for BALLETX, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia

    Something good always happens around Bridgette Mayer’s invitational summer benefit exhibitions. I’m participating for the third time with two new paintings. Bridgette specifies a fixed 12″ square format for her benefit shows. It’s the only time I work in a square format, so the paintings I make for the shows are relatively unique.

    Benefit Exhibition for BalletX
    July 9 — August 9, 2013
    Reception: Friday July 12, 6-8:30
    Bridgette Mayer Gallery
    709 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

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    Tiger Strikes Art Museum — a Pay-As-You-Wish Wednesday Evening Happening

    The venerable Philadelphia Museum of Art has invited Tiger Strikes Asteroid members to create contemporary responses to works in the Museum’s collection. This unique experience will feature sound installation, an audio tour, and live performance art. I am contributing to the audio tour part of the program, talking about three works in the collection that have personal significance to the development of my work. (You have to go to find out which…)

    Tiger Strikes Art Museum
    Wednesday, July 31, 5-8pm
    The Philadelphia Museum of Art
    2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

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    Reason and Romance at 6b Gallery, Elingen, Belgium

    CURRENTLY ON VIEW just outside Brussels. This is an summer group exhibition organized by Alain Biltereyst, a new artist friend and kindred spirit. It’s a great international lineup of artists.

    Reason and Romance
    On view through July 21, 2013
    6b Gallery
    Oudenaaksestraat 6b, 1671 Elingen, Belgium

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    ICE WATER FLYSWATTER at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia

    This is my first curatorial effort for Tiger Strikes Asteroid, featuring a stellar lineup and some terrific, rigorous, colorful, not to mention FUN abstract painting. I dare say it’s one of the best reasons to come see art in Philadelphia in August. (You can still catch the Ellsworth Kelly at the Barnes while you’re at it.)

    ICE WATER FLYSWATTER — Abstract painting on holiday in the Philadelphia summer
    curated by Douglas Witmer
    August 2 — September 1, 2013
    Reception: Friday August 2, 6-10pm
    Tiger Strikes Asteroid
    319A North 11th Street, Suite 2H
    Philadelphia PA

    Featuring:
    Alain Biltereyst (Belgium)
    Mary Bucci McCoy (MA)
    Donald Martiny (NC)
    Cary Smith (CT)
    Mark Wethli (ME)
    Paige Williams (OH)
    –with a special poem/drawing by Ian White Williams commissioned for the show

    Join Facebook Event
    (image above: Cary Smith, “Splat #25″)

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    MORE UPCOMING SHOWS — details forthcoming
    Correspondence, group exhibition at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn, August 9 — September 9
    Why Not?, International Biennale of Non-Objective Art, Pont de Claix, France, September
    CITYWIDE–a collective exhibition, Philadelphia, November
    Eccentric Geometries (working title), group exhibition, Rowan University, NJ, November

    FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK STUDIO PAGE FOR FREQUENT UPDATES



    Studio News | Spring 2013

    Work is headed every which way over the next few months, and I’m curating a show in Philadelphia. Read on!


    School Papers at NIAD Art Center, California
    May 17 — June 28, 2013
    NIAD Art Center
    551 23rd Street
    Richmond CA 94804

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    What I Like About You at Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn
    (in conjunction with Bushwick Open Studios)
    May 31 – June 30, 2013
    Opening Reception: Friday May 31st, 6 – 10 pm
    Viewing Hours for BOS 2013: Saturday June 1 and Sunday, June 2 ,12 – 7 pm
    Through June 30: Saturdays and Sundays 1-6 pm
    Parallel Art Space
    17-17 Troutman Street, # 220
    Ridgewood NY 11385

    Organized by Brooklyn artist Julie Torres, ‘What I Like About You’ is a continuation of last year’s Alltogethernow project, in which 11 international painters visited Bushwick for BOS 2012, to collaborate with local artists and exhibit those collaborations alongside their own work.

    This year, artists are returning to showcase the work of artists they met and whose work they saw last year. New participants who weren’t present in 2012 have chosen artists’ work they have been interested in from afar.

    19 international artists will arrive in Bushwick to select one piece from their chosen Brooklyn artist, and show that work alongside their own with a brief explanation of what drew them to that artists’ work.

    I have chosen to exhibit with the excellent Alex Paik.

    Join Facebook Event

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    Signs and Systems at Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia
    June 6-28, 2013
    Opening reception: Friday, June 7, 5-7pm
    Gross McCleaf Gallery
    127 South 16th Street
    Philadelphia PA 19102

    With Alison Berry, Cora Cohen, Joanne Grune-Yanoff, Kellianne McCarthy, Sean McDonough, Deirdre Murphy, Dianne Pappas, Mira Schor, Carly Witmer, Pete Zebley

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    ICE WATER FLYSWATTER at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia

    I’m curating this exhibition, and I’m very excited about the lineup!
    ICE WATER FLYSWATTER — Abstract painting on holiday in the Philadelphia summer
    curated by Douglas Witmer
    August 2 — September 1, 2013
    Reception: Friday August 2, 6-10pm
    Tiger Strikes Asteroid
    319A North 11th Street, Suite 2H
    Philadelphia PA

    Featuring:
    Alain Biltereyst (Belgium)
    Mary Bucci McCoy (MA)
    Donald Martiny (NC)
    Cary Smith (CT)
    Mark Wethli (ME)
    Paige Williams (OH)
    –with a special poem/drawing by Ian White Williams commissioned for the show

    Join Facebook Event
    (image above: Cary Smith, “Splat #25″)

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    MORE UPCOMING SHOWS — details forthcoming
    Correspondence, group exhibition at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn
    Reason and Romance, 6B Gallery, Elingen, Belgium
    Why Not?, International Biennale of Non-Objective Art, Pont de Claix, France