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 Frederick J. Whiteman  (1909 - )

About: Frederick J. Whiteman


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Lived/Active: New York/Pennsylvania      Known for: abstract painting

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Ad Code: 4
Frederick J Whiteman
Surrealist Woman at Wash Basin
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from LewAllen Galleries:
Artist Frederick Whiteman was born in 1909 in rural Pennsylvania.  An analytical painter, Whiteman sought to visually explain the nature and function of his subjects. His work, which is inspired by Cubist principles, represents a vast wealth of mechanical imagery.  Whiteman's father, a distributor of mechanical and electrical products for the railway and mining industries, may have inspired Whiteman's interest in technology, and interest he pursued when, at the age of 16, he began a career as a draughtsman in an engineering firm.  In 1929, Whiteman studied for a year with Alexander J. Kostellow at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh.

The following year Whiteman moved to New York City.  Attending classes at the Art Students League (1930-32) and supporting himself with a job at a Brooklyn advertising agency, Whiteman sought to establish his reputation as a serious modernist.  In 1935, he was invited to participate in the Whitney Museum's sensational exhibition Abstract Art in America.

A founding member of the American Abstract Artists, Whiteman left his job at the ad agency with the dream of establishing an art school based on the principles of the Bauhaus.  Though the school never materialized, Whiteman's teaching aspirations continued.  From 1937 to 1939, he acted as director of the WPA art centers in Greensboro, NC, and Greenwich, MS.  Upon his return to New York, he joined the faculty at the Pratt Institute, where he remained until 1974.

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