G Fine Art Gallery Info Selected Archives Artists

Ian Whitmore | This Is Our Music

January 10 - February 14, 2009


press release:

Opening Reception: January 10, 6:30 - 8:30pm

This is our Music showcases Whitmore’s polyglot style with a set of paintings that, rather than being bound by any one theme, are loosely tied by recurring motifs of fertility, aging, entanglement, and chaos. The work in this show continues Whitmore’s investigation into a painting’s abilities to be both retinal and textual, inspiring the question, is this an object of delectation or interpretation?

Originally the title of a legendary Ornette Coleman album from 1960, later appropriated by the indie band Galaxie 500 for their 1990 release, "This Is Our Music" seems to suggest a pose of defiance and self-determination; a group of musicians confident in the distinctive quality of the sound they have fought to develop, inured to contrary winds of taste or fashion. But in the context of a solo show of paintings the plurality of "our" turns that defiance into something more inclusive. By pursuing a method of painting that moves fluidly between styles and genres, an artist is forced to accept the idea that any body of work that shuns the easily distinguished and consistent trappings of a brand will have to rely to a greater extent on the interpretive powers of its audience to draw links between individual works.

Whitmore’s research of music and literature to locate repetition, superimposition, accumulation and virtual abstraction results in a plethora of subject matter. Each painting comes with its own set of references or inspirations spanning from renaissance-era allegorical works to Pinnochio’s overalls.

At the source of Whitmore’s skirmish-like paintings are inherently contentious ideas. For instance, the symbolic associations of the color green, that Whitmore investigates in his painting Verdure, are fertile, lush and natural but also mysterious, toxic, artificial and alien. In another work, Settlement, Whitmore invokes the ”colossus” paintings formerly attributed to Goya, in which a background figure seems to dwarf the foreground, divorcing itself from the action, as if two distinct paintings were occupying the same space. These conflicting ideas reverberate with Whitmore’s paintings of abstraction, superimposition, and fictional composites.  

This is Whitmore’s second solo show with G Fine Art Gallery and his fifth solo exhibition in Washington DC.


Gallery Hours are Thursday - Saturday, Noon - 5pm
(and by appointment)

4718 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
T. 202.462.1601
F. 202.462.1604