David Whittredge is a visual artist living in Wicklow County, Ireland. He grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts (USA). His art education was in several schools in Boston and he continued with additional studies in Europe on a travelling scholarship in 1984. David is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Artist’s Foundation.
David’s initial influences were artists of the New York School but he has since moved on. He was an illustrator and editor of technical manuals in the jet engine industry for 30 years while he maintained an art studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
David has now lived in Ireland since 2012 and continues to make art in his new studio in Delgany, Co Wicklow.
I’ve done a fair bit of wandering I would say. Ideas come to mind and they need to be explored, and that has made for a circuitous journey in my art making. Some ideas come back again and again in different forms or in different materials, which has resulted in work that appears to have come from different hands. But, I have come to live with that despite advice to the contrary. Originality in art is important and difficult to achieve but must be pursued all the same. If there is some master game plan it might just well be this: invent a new language and, once achieved, make poetry.
The paintings I am doing currently (i.e. First Encounter, Gaslight) are like a science project with cosmic overtones. These paintings have ghosts, or some type of unnamed energy. In these paintings I am pulling together some of the best methods, materials, and notions of space I have had over the years with the aim to produce an “oxigenated” experience (which is only available by seeing the works in person). All materials are acrylic paint on coated foam board with the exception of a few watercolors.
Weather Report Variations comprises dozens of abstracted squares that float off the wall in mural-size areas. This work is another whereby I incorporate the space of the wall into the painting to bring illusion out into physical space to suggest an imaginary dialog: flowing, falling, drifting, twisting, billowing, swirling, churning, gliding, floating, meandering, tumbling, cascading, diving, plunging, stirring, transitory. It is an installation work with dozens of variations.
The previous period of works (i.e. Paintbox Variations, Constellation, Spotsylvania, etc.) use lightweight material to build paintings that float off the wall. It is not sculpture. The shapes in the paintings are extensions that reach into the personal space of the viewer.
For works prior to that please send a message if further information is desired.
1971-72 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, MFA (now Tufts University)
1969-71 Art Institute of Boston (now Lesley University)
1967-68 Vesper George School of Art, Boston, Massachusetts
1990 Group Show, Boston Center for the Arts – Drawing
1985 Group Show, Boston Arts Festival – (Painting shown on local television news)
1985 Group Show, Six Painters, Northeastern University Art gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
1984 Group Show, Museum School Traveling Scholars Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
1977 Group Show, Art in Transition: A Century of the Museum School, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
1975 One-person show, Art Institute of Boston – Conceptual art
1972 Paintings hung in private offices Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
1971 Group Show, Art Institute of Boston
1995 U.S. patent for animated-paper graphics device
1985 Fellowship in Painting, Massachusetts Artists Foundation (Mass Cultural Council)
1984 Traveling Scholarship, School of the MFA, Boston, Massachusetts
1971 First Prize, Boit Competition, School of the MFA, Boston, Massachusetts
1967-1968 Attended Vesper George School of Art, Boston.
1968-1969 Skipped a year here to play rock and roll (but that’s another story).
1969-1971 Attended Art Institute of Boston (AIB) and was assistant in graphics dept. (1971).
1970 Started painting using “tube” illusion. Had an exhibition of drawings at AIB.
1971-1972 Attended and graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (now Tufts University). Won Boit Prize (1971). Made various “tube” paintings including hard edge and geometric. Had painting at Boston City Hall (School Exhibit).
1972-1973 Had studio in the old Piano Factory, Boston.
1973-1974 Moved studio to South End Auto Supply Building. Did target/bomb paintings and door sculptures.
1973-1976 Made watercolors of “tube” configurations: floating “tubes”, “tubes” bleeding into each other.
1974 Moved studio to Winthrop (same building as Roger Kizik). Did large watercolors (30”x40”) with pools of colored areas with wrinkles.
1975 Had show of conceptual art at gallery at the Art Institute of Boston.
1976 Started to paint “tubes” on raw canvas. Moved to studio on Richdale Ave, Cambridge.
1977 Had painting in “Art in Transition” show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. New paintings became much larger.
1979 Began painting on large, wet, raw canvas.
1980-1983 Painted on wet canvas, continuously experimenting; eventually evolved to 3-D shaped paintings that used the wet-painted canvases.
1982 Taught one semester evening class in technical drawing (AIB).
1982-1983 Made large paintings of mixed styles, separate pieces screwed together.
1983-1985 Made large 3-D paintings.
1984 Won a Traveling Scholarship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Made model 3-D paintings (B&W).
1985 Won a Fellowship from the Massachusetts Artist’s Foundation (Mass Cultural Council). Was included in Boston Arts Festival on the Esplanade. Traveled to England and France on a tour of cathedrals.
1985-1986 Made layered ink drawings on acetate, large and small. Paintings and drawings Included in a group show at Northeastern University.
1986 Was selected to create new large-scale work for the University Massachusetts, Amherst. Made large model but funding not approved. Full scale work never done.
1986-1987 Made small and large foam-core 3-D paintings in color. Also some “tube” cutouts on paper.
1988 Was a founder and the first president of Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington, Massachusetts.
1988-1992 Made people and cat rubbings. A rubbing was included in Boston Center for the Arts drawing show (1990).
1992 Invented paper animation device used for novelty greeting cards.
1993-1998 Self-employed as inventor/designer/producer of pop-up animated cards/books/advertising, etc. Won greeting card award (1995). Also wrote and awarded a U.S. patent. Did this instead of painting. Pushed ahead with projects until 1999.
1996-1999 Exchanged materials with Terry (and Maggie) Gilliam for pop-up book project but book never completed.
2002 Started painting “tubes” on individual pieces of material (paper/wood) in vertical symmetrical formats resembling altars. At first these were flat on wall then built out into space for blending of shadows.
2003 Painted “tubes” on individual pieces of wood, symmetrical, looking like organ pipes. Started to build out onto floor space. Did endless variations of temporary assemblies. Discovered shadow-blending phenomenon.
2004 Same as 2003 but expanded to wider formats.
2005 Same as 2004 but expanded to deeper formats. Also, “tubes” (wiggles, organic) with pointed ends, asymmetric assemblies.
2006 Painted “tubes” on individual pieces of wood (wiggles, organic) pointed ends, symmetrical and monochromatic. Did paintings of “tubes”, symmetrical, pointed at both ends. Made more “tube” arrangements using higher chroma, flat paintings.
2007-2008 Made “chevron” paintings.
2008 Made “tube” configuration models for large-scale public art.
2009 Made “tubes”, symmetrical with bolder color on foam core. Made 3-D “tube” spirals and other configurations on foam core.
2010 Started wiggly, layered “tubes” made on foam core, configured like tree/walls. Discovered they reflect light internally if backlit.
2011 Made floral/baroque layered piece. Made “tube” configurations perpendicular to the wall. Grouped multiple pieces for larger wall and floor installations. Made freestanding paintings: guitars, wheel, campfires, etc. Moved to a larger studio in same building.
2012 Continued making 3-D pieces. Retired from 30-year career as a technical documentation specialist for GE. Closed down studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and moved home and studio to Ireland. Set up new studio in Delgany. Continued making “campfire” paintings and had a small showing at the Half Moon Gallery. Made 3-D “spot” painting.
2013-2018 Painting evolved from shaped “canvas” wall installations to grid-format 3-D wall installations.