Jack Whitten Xeroxed!

Jack Whitten, Xeroxed! III, 1975, toner on rice paper on canvas, image hauser & wirth via wernerherzoghaircut/cosmicanger

Hauser & Wirth just showed this gorgeous Jack Whitten work from 1975 at Frieze. It’s a grid of 42 Xeroxed images on legal-size rice paper (8.5×11 in.) mounted on canvas, and it’s called Xeroxed! III.

In his 2009 oral history at the Archives of American Art, Whitten explains how Xerox invited him and several artists to Rochester to experiment with the tech, the equipment, talk to engineers, make work, and put on a show. Whitten’s own interest was in the highly manual process of early Xerox flat plate technology. I assume the exclamation point in the name is from the executives’ reaction to Whitten using their freshly trademarked brand as his title. The show never happened.

Gerhard Richter’s 128 Details from a Picture, meanwhile, happened three years later.

[few minutes later update: Harvard Art Museums have a single sheet Xerox work called, Broken Spaces #4, from 1974, where Whitten worked the toner powder across the surface of the paper with a scraper, and it began tracing out the electrostatic waves he was generating. Amazing, and consult a conservator, I guess!]

Jack Whitten, Broken Spaces, #4, 1974, 22 x 17 in., toner on paper, collection Harvard Art Museums

Previously, related: The Xerox Book, Infinite Loop
Some Cady Noland Works On Paper
Ed Meneeley’s Photocopy Prints
Daphne, as Photocopied by Sigmar Polke