press release

I am attracted to black because of the beauty of the color and its infinite 
variety. It is a color that has been my inspiration since I began painting.

Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of selected paintings by New York-based artist Joan Witek, spanning several decades of the artist's oeuvre.

Born in New York in 1943, Witek has continuously worked in black and white since the 1970s, exploring an abstract language rooted in fine proportions and stark contrasts. The critic Lilly Wei has described it as follows: "Witek plays these oppositions in her work: black being ascetic and alluring, meditative and expressive, flawless and flawed, fierce and demure, a distinct unequivocal presence, yet subtle, elusive."

JOAN WITEK: PAINTINGS brings together works from the 1970s to the present, revealing the artist’s impressive unwavering focus. Here, Witek uses fine pencil lines on white ground to define her compositions, before applying black oilstick to establish rich strokes. The latter move vertically, horizontally, or diagonally on the picture plane, employing the invisible grid as the overall structural backbone. Though seemingly graphic when viewed from afar, Witek embraces handmade imperfections that offer rich nuance. In fact, subtle expression is found within each line as thickness and strength of application shifts. It is in these variations within the overall minimal vocabulary that we find traces of emotional undercurrents and a glimpse of the person behind the work.

Witek has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Segovia, Spain; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT among others. She lives and works in New York City. This will be her first solo exhibition with Jason McCoy Gallery, NY.