27 - 21
27 - 21
Alastair Whitton was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1969 and lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. He graduated with distinction in 1994 from the (then) Natal Technikon School of Fine Art in Durban, South Africa where he majored in sculpture and photography. He was an award winner at the 1994 ABSA L’Atelier and in the same year - as the overall top student in the Faculty of Art and Design - was awarded the Emma Smith International Scholarship. In the summer of 1995 he was artist in residence at the studio of Marlene Dumas in Amsterdam after which he travelled to Scotland to further his studies at the Glasgow School of Art where he was tutored by British photographer and conceptual artist Roger Palmer.
With a body of work spanning twenty-five years that has included photography, sculpture, artist books, painting and installation, Alastair Whitton has explored multiple mediums and processes but since 2008 has focussed almost exclusively of lens based projects. To date he has presented seven solo exhibitions and his work has been featured in exhibitions at notable museums and prestigious venues including: Le Carreau du Temple, Paris (2017-2018); University of Johannesburg (2017); Pratt Institute, New York (2016); Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome (2015); Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (2015); The Center for Book Arts, New York (2014); Museo Casa dei Carraresi, Treviso (2014); Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2011); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2011); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2010); FotoMuseum, Antwerp (2010); Johannesburg Art Gallery (2010); Museé National du Mali, Bamako (2009); University of South Africa, Pretoria (2009); National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2002); South African Centre for Photography, Cape Town (2002); Gasworks, London (1998); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (1997); Africus: Institute for Contemporary Art, Johannesburg (1997) and the Durban Art Museum (1994).
He has participated in various international art fairs and festivals including amongst others Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town (2013-2019); AKAA: Also Known as Africa, Paris (2017-2018); Open Design Festival, Cape Town (2015); FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg (2013-2014; 2009-2011); Head On Photo Festival, Sydney (2013); EAB Art Fair (Editions: Artists’ Books), New York (2009; 2013) and Out of Africa Festival, Munich (1997).
Whitton’s work can be found in various private and public collections including that of the Durban Art Museum, University of South Africa, Jack Ginsberg Collection, South African Centre for Photography, National Museum of Mali and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Venice amongst others.
In addition to his own ongoing creative practice he has contributed towards academia and the art industry in his roles as Lecturer, Curator and Art Director at various institutions, arts publishers and commercial galleries. An advocate for the preservation of libraries and the enduring relevance of the printed book, Whitton has initiated and collaborated on a number of limited edition publications that have subsequently been added to the special library collections of esteemd institutions including amongst others the Wits Art Museum (WAM), Johannesburg; University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Pratt Institute, New York and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.