A bloody path, a lyrical journey…a statement on a moment of time…
an anthropological narrative…all of the possibilities
of a collection of text and images
Researching past, and engaging the present with themes of memory and observation,
I am compiling my experiences in life and repurposing the good and the bad, utilizing the
complexity of exposure and involvement.
Referencing film, music, history, and poetry, mixed with discernment, judgement, tragedy and joy…
this work reflects fiction and fact.
An unrelated order, a non-chronological trip,
accesses and sub-texts, moral dictators and taciturn observers.
After a start in the Boston suburbs, Deborah Whitney has worked for thirty eight years as an art handler and curator doing exhibition work in museums and galleries, and driving miles in trucks. The palimpsest of these experiences has materially informed her art. Often the only woman on the job in the early days, the one sent for coffee and always expected to go with the flow. Deb found herself in the position of having her tools taken out of her hands (because there was an assumption that she did not know how to use them), and also working to stay on the good side of both co-workers and clients, those who very often found working with a woman very suspect. Charting misogynistic seas has been a life filled with creative material of identity and anamnesis.
But while telling a coherent story about others’ art is both refined craft and certain gift, one must consult the entirety of her history as an artist, and, perhaps more so, as a woman in the business of art, to understand the unique perspective her art affords.
Lines, incisions, clear and iconic figures truly embodied, and disrupted, by culture. Bleeding, screaming, laughing/crying, cringing and fighting – referencing the complexities of the female life. A life reviewed in the Talkies, collected phrases of fiction, fact, lyric and (someone’s) confession. A life reviewed in Glamour Pussies and The Pugilists, where identity of beauty is layered with the beast of survival. A life reviewed in The Winter of the Lonely Ghosts when, as poet Mary Reufle writes, “[youth] which is thankfully behind you as you would never want to be a girl again for any reason at all, you have discovered that being invisible is the biggest secret on earth, the most wondrous gift anyone could ever have given you.”
With degrees from institutions on two continents (Mass College of Art, Boston, BFA, and Wimbledon College of Art, London, MA), gallery ownership and curatorial projects in two states (Greenport, New York, and Portland, Maine), art moving and installations from Maastricht to Dubai, it is understandable and fitting that Deb’s art focuses on disrupting linear impressions.
Deb currently divides her time between the woods in Maine and South London.
One Person Exhibitions:
2006 Dreamtime, Area Gallery, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
2002 Dreamtime, Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
1988 Pacific House Gallery, Richmond University, London
1987 The Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, Boston, MA
1983 New Art, Belmont Center Gallery, Belmont, MA
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2021 Art+Gender, Harlow Gallery, Hallowell, ME
2020 Nano, Engine: Propelling the Creative Community, Biddeford, ME
2019 Vibrant, Frisco Art Gallery, Frisco TX
2019 Micrographity, ARTOTS, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
2018 Drawing I: The Everyday, Engine: Propelling the Creative Community,
2017 Searching the Line, Filter 4, Basel, Switzerland
2017 Dreamy and Surreal, MacPage, South Portland, ME
2017 Lines of Thought, Union of Maine Visual Artists Gallery, Portland, ME
2013 MA Exhibition, Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, London
2012 TRUST: Artists Respond to Morden Hall Park, London
2012 Wunderkammer, The Nunnery, Bow Arts, London
2005 Group Show, Yellow House Works of Art, Greenport, NY
2000 Mother and Child, Mills Pond House, Smithtown, NY
1999 Summer, Omni Gallery, Uniondale, NY
1997 Group Show, Momenta Arts, Brooklyn, NY
1996 Group Show, 505 Broadway, NY, NY
1995 Group show, Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA
1993 Art for Aids Sake, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
1993 Activated Walls, Artists Space, New York, NY
1990 Works on Paper, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
1998 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1985 Emerging Artists, Thompson Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
1981 Group Show, Boston City Hall 1979 Group Show, Richmond University Gallery, London
Additional Projects include:
2020 (pending) Arteles, 4 week residency, Arteles Creative Center, Haukijarvi, Finland
2019 Studio Faire, 4 week residency, Nérac, France
2002 Cover artwork for 7 Carmine, a limited edition of poetry and artwork, NY, NY
1996 Cover of Fairfield County Woman, weekly newspaper, Fairfield, CT
1995 Artist in Residence, Purnel School, Pottersville, NJ
1994 MacDowell Colony, 8 week residency, Peterborough, NH
1991 Published in first edition of Journal 188, a collection of fiction, poetry and artwork, NY, NY
2013 MA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Art, London
1996 Graduate courses, Gallatin Division, NYU, in painting and cinema studies, NY, NY
1982 BFA, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA