James Litaker’s Stories
June 23–July 21, 2024
Opening reception: Sunday, June 23, 2–4 pm
Gallery Walkthrough with the artist: Wednesday, July 10, 6–7 pm

On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email info@bushelcollective.org)


Bushel is honored to present this solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by James Litaker.

James Litaker’s eye and hand were trained in cities: his native New York (both uptown and down), and Amsterdam, where he broke with the trends of his generation of artists by apprenticing in the tradition of the Dutch Masters. The result, once he returned to New York, was thousands of drawings of the neighborhood, the city, and its people—friends, family, neighbors, bars, musicians, street scenes. Daily urban life made the subject and the object of his vision, a way to capture fleeting glimmers of the stories that make up a community. But in addition to this focus on the contemporary, Litaker has also been drawn to historical subjects and their stories, particularly to examples of African American survival and resistance. With his relocation to Delaware County two decades ago, he has deepened this engagement with historical figures, while also introducing new subject matter drawn from village life and new methods of painting from memory and images into his practice. This, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the region, brings together recent paintings and an array of drawings, sketches, and studies from the past three decades.

Bushel is grateful to Rob and Linda Goecks and to Walker Pond for their support of this exhibit. Many thanks to Luke Dougherty for bringing Litaker’s work to our attention. Dougherty will be joining the artist for a guided walkthrough on Wednesday, July 10, 6–7 pm.

Born and raised in Harlem, NY, James Litaker studied art at the School of Visual Arts, as a scholarship member of the Salmagundi club, and in Amsterdam, where he developed an enduring interest in the prints and paintings of the Dutch Masters. Returning to New York City, he brought his Renaissance eye to the sights and sounds of Harlem and Greenwich village, which became the subjects of four decades of drawings and paintings from daily life. For the last twenty years, Litaker has lived and worked in Delaware County.