David Kim Whittaker, A Compendium

20 March - 09 April 2024

Schopenhauer’s adage “The world is my representation” encapsulates a truth that we come to realise as we navigate through life. While applicable to all beings, it is only us humans who possess the unique ability to introspectively and abstractly comprehend it. We are not beings with the capacity to directly know the sun and the earth, but to perceive and sense them. The world we inhabit only exists in relation to those who represent us, and through this, we understand and interpret the world.


This exhibition delves into these concepts through a curated selection of works by David Kim Whittaker, a prominent contemporary artist from the United Kingdom. Laden with emotion, conflict, and reflections on reality and ideals, their artworks evoke contemplation on our interpretations and relationships through abstract and conceptual imagery, prompting deep inquiries into our interaction with the world and the essence of life. The recurring motif of 'the cross' in their paintings narrates the duality of pain and hope in life. At times presented in abstract forms, thier works vividly portray various states including memories and dreams of the past, the beauty of nature, and human fears, thereby prompting questions about the functioning of our will and power.


Through this selection, Whittaker’s paintings articulate profound inquiries into reality, mind, and existence through swirling, corporeal, and abstract brushstrokes. While this expression may initially evoke discord on the surface of their canvases, it intricately merges dimensions of inner and outer realms, unifying landscapes and portraits into a singular genre. Whittaker's fusion of realism with abstract forms underscores the idealistic schisms and dystopian essence of our era, while simultaneously presenting glimpses of hope towards the future with a rootedness to past. Moreover, their works intertwine with our emotional experiences, portraying the realms of body and mind. As a result, we are prompted to recognise the significance of emotionally 'feeling' in order to authentically communicate and comprehend the world.


The exhibition “A Compendium” prompts us to reflect on our conventional interpretive methods. By means of art, they stimulate our imagination, guiding us to explore our inner world and discover new perspectives and insights. Consequently, the artwork guides us into the profound realm of contemplation, leading us on a journey that brings new enlightenment regarding our relationship with ourselves and the world.

Exhibition photography © baufoto