Master Makers

John Whitesell

  A Retrospective

 January 10 - March 2, 2002

Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 5:00-7:30 PM

Artist’s Gallery Talk: Thursday, January 17, 6:00 PM

Sponsored by Mary and Al Shands

Professor John Whitesell has been exploring and mastering a suite of complex printmaking techniques for over thirty years, from intaglio, lithography, and woodcuts to the revolutionary new medium of computer manipulated ink-jet printing. 

Perhaps best know for his silkscreen work, Whitesell exhibits his investigative compositions regionally,  nationally, and internationally. 

A native of Floyd Knobs, Indiana, John Whitesell  has taught printmaking with the University of Louisville since 1973, where his humor, encyclopedic knowledge, and keen eye for detail has guided new generations of printmakers.

 Designed as a retrospective, this exhibit will trace John Whitesell’s work from the late 1960's to the present, while exploring a variety of printmaking techniques.




Hamilton, OH, 1942



Miami University, 1964-1966

B.A., Earlham College, 1964

M.F.A., Indiana University, 1973


Saturday Hands-On Workshops

Relief Printing Workshop
Instructor: John Whitesell
Saturday, February 16, 2002

9:30 am – 1:30 pm

This class will cover simple relief printing techniques such as colagraph, linocut and woodblock and how to prepare images for hand printing on paper to be used for broadsides, book illustrations or prints. The prints created in this workshop can be bound into books and used for Debbie Shannon's workshop the following week.


CINNABAR 1, ink jet print, 2001, 12" x 12"

"It may be said right off that the art of John Whitesell is an unfailingly disciplined art, both technically and aesthetically.  From the choice and preparation of the support, which for him as a printmaker is preferably rice paper, to the working surface of the wood block, metal plate, stencil or whatever other technical vehicle he employs, to the manipulation of the graphite, inks, paints or other media that he transmits to the paper, to the final pattern of the lines, shapes, tones and hues that constitute his imagery, his work has a “rightness” and resolution that are outstandingly authoritative."

JUNIPER RISING, ink jet print, 2001, 12" x 12"

      " As organically unified as biological matter, his shapes—whether totally abstract or not---seem to grow out of each other and to rise through layers of space like living organisms. In this, light plays a peculiarly subtle role. It gives the impression of floating between transparent layers of color, the pigments seemingly yielding their own substance to the light. Exceptionally sensitive to nuances of tone and color, Whitesell does not allow the shapes to impinge on or in any way disrupt these nuances.  Stated in another way, he makes light and color coexist—not as discrete entities merely compatible with each other, but as substances begotten together in the same breath."


THROUGH THE WINDOW, silkscreen print, 1992, 15" x 10"

"Through his mastery of the materials of his craft and his control of aesthetic principles, Whitesell strikes the observer as an inventive artist with the serious purpose of saying only what is worth saying, and doing so in poetic terms."

   ----Dario Covi, University of Louisville Professor Emeritus of Art History


DIAGONAL SERIES, ink jet print, 1980, 20" x 11"

Selected Collections

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Bradford City Art Gallery, Bradford, Yorkshire, England

Los Angeles Print Club, Los Angeles, CA

Honolulu Academy of the Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii

Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE

J.B. Speed Art Museum. Louisville, KY

New York Public Library, New York, NY

Bradley University, Peoria, IL

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD

Indiana University Art Collection, Bloomington, IN

West Virginia University Art Department Collection, Morgantown, WV

  Awards and Honors

Individual Artist Fellowship, Indiana Artist Commission, 1979-80

Lithography Project Grant, Kentucky Arts Commission, 1980

National Endowment for The Arts Grant for Collaborative Project, 1984-85

 Selected Exhibitions

Dexter and Beyond, one-person exhibition, Dario Covi Gallery, University of Louisville, 2000

John Whitesell and Dennis Olsen, Prints, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, 2000

A View From the Garden II: Inspired by Nature, Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, IN, 2000

2000 Water Tower Annual, Louisville Visual Art Association Gallery, 2000

Patterns and Paradox, one-person exhibition, Marian College Gallery, Indianapolis, IN, 1999

Bradley University National Print and Drawing Exhibition, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, 1999

Mid-America Print Council Juried Members Exhibition, Art Academy of Cincinnati Gallery, 1998

Colorprint USA – Spanning in States in ’98, Simultaneous exhibition of prints in 50 states, 1998

Visiting Artist Alliance Faculty Exhibition, DAAP Galleries, University of Cincinnati, 1998

Baseballs: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by Baseballs, Clara M Eagle Art Gallery, Murray State University, 1997

Pressed and Pulled VI, Blackridge Hall Gallery, Georgia College and State University, Millerville, GA, 1997

The River: An Exhibition of Traditional and Contemporary Art and Craft Inspired by the Rivers of Kentucky, The Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery, 1996

Navigations Portfolio, Southern Graphics Council Conference, Morgantown, WV, 1996

Dakotas International Print Exhibition, University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD, 1994

National Invitational Screenprint Exhibition, Anderson Auditorium Gallery, Boston Museum School, 1993

1993 Ohio Valley Annual, Floyd County Museum, New Albany, IN, 1993

1969-1991: Two Decades of Change, Circulating exhibit mounted by the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, Bloomington, IN, 1992-present

Faculty Exhibition, Penland Gallery, Penland, NC, 1992

Kentucky on Paper, Kentucky Arts Council Traveling Exhibition, 1990-91

The Artist and the Computer, Louisville Visual Art Association, Louisville Public Library Gallery, 1989

Prints from Mid-West USA, Collage Gallery, South Australian School of Art, 1988

Parkside National Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI, 1988

Artists Who Teach, Federal Reserve Board Building, Washington, DC, 1987