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  • Writer's pictureDavid Eichholtz

Guyanese Artist Arlington Weithers Paints Raw Gestural Abstractions Inspired by Nature and Guyana

Arlington Weithers

Neptune's Cloud, 2000

Acrylic polymer emulsion & pigments on canvas on canvas

60 x 50"

Arlington Weithers's first solo exhibition with the gallery and first solo show in New York since 2006, Organic: Imagery and Processes Inspired by the Natural World, includes 12 paintings dating from 2000 to 2004 with one large horizontal painting from 2017 that is part of a similar, but later series of large format works produced from 2015 to 2018 that will be the subject of a separate, later presentation.

Utilizing formalist approaches of pouring, staining, and brushing Weithers applies and distributes colorful hues in synthetic polymer emulsions, his medium of choice, combined with additions of organic materials from nature, glass beads, and dry pigment on canvas supports. The result is paintings that are exhilarating with an intensity, materiality, and immediacy that stimulates the viewer on many levels—visually, tactilely, and emotionally—and creating a strong reaction. The colors are bold and vibrant, as one would imagine given the tropical influences of his youth in Guyana. The surfaces are complex, both lush and dynamic with rhythm and movement from the colors and shapes migrating, morphing, and fusing across the canvases, bounded by the painted borders.

Mentors, colleagues, and those who shared similar such sensibilities about pouring, staining and brushing pigment and medium include his life-long friend, colleague, and fellow Guyanese artist, Carl Hazelwood; Frank Bowling, another Guyanese artist with whom he worked as a studio assistant from 2011 to 2018 and more recently as friends; his teachers William T. Williams and Philip Pearlstein from Brooklyn College; not to mention the historical influences of Jules Olitski, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, and other Color Field painters.

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Arlington Weithers

Fire Next Time, 2017

Acrylic polymer emulsion, pigments, & glass beads on canvas

65 x 114”

Arlington Weithers

Mazunte: Creatures of the Sea, 2004

Acrylic polymer emulsion, pigments, sand & volcanic ash on canvas

30 x 24”

Arlington Weithers

Mazunte: Renee's Angel, 2004

Acrylic polymer emulsion, pigments, sand & volcanic ash on canvas

96 x 66”

Arlington Weithers

Kensington Oval: A Sticky Wicket, 2002

Acrylic polymer emulsion

36 x 30"

About Arlington Weithers: After studying in Guyana with E. R. Burrowes and Vivian Antrobus, both outstanding local artists and teachers, Arlington Weithers moved to the United States in 1969. His concentration at the Art Students League in New York was on illustration, although he later received a BFA degree from Brooklyn College with honors in fine art and photography. At the college, independent study in Painting and Drawing was with William T. Williams and Philip Pearlstein. A full scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Skowhegan, Maine, found him once again studying with William T. Williams and with visiting artist Claes Oldenberg among others. At the end of his stay, Weithers received best painter awards from both Skowhegan faculty and student juries. He was also given the McGhee Honors Award for creative work by Brooklyn College. Weithers lectured, conducted art therapy workshops and painted murals as an Artist-in Residence for the City of Dallas, Texas. Previous solo exhibitions of Mr. Weithers work have been held at Auburn University in Alabama, Brooklyn College Art Gallery, and the Guyana Embassy in New York. Through May 1994 his digital paintings were part of ‘Through My Window’, a yearlong exhibition at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, in Alaska. Beginning in 1970 paintings and photography have been featured in many group shows including those at Light Gallery, New York; Harris Gallery, Houston, Texas; Pier 3, San Francisco; the Stewart Gallery, Dallas, and the S & L Gallery at the FIAC Exposition in Paris, France. [Courtesy and Copyright © Carl E. Hazlewood, New York.] Weithers’s Artworks in Select Public Collections: The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY The Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE Ogden Museum, New Orleans, LA Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ The Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Anchorage, Alaska Guyana National Collection, Guyana, South America The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, (CUNY) Pegasus International Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana Image Transform, Des Moines, IA among others.

All Artwork Copyright © Arlington Weithers Courtesy David Richard Gallery

Contributed by: David Eichholtz, Curator, Manager, Founder David Richard Gallery, LLC May 20, 2023, New York


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