When Jack Whitten arrived on island of Crete in 1969, it was partly to seek refuge from an art world that had been steadily gnawing at his emotional and spiritual disposition. What he created there over the course of many summers had been a closely guarded secret that only now has found the light of day. For Jack Whitten, who was known for his visually stunning, process-based paintings, developed an equally gifted sculpture practice which this small Aegean island proved to be an infallible incubator. Variously employing stone, metal glass, found objects and wood, Whitten drew from a variety of sources. The island’s fish and oceanic life, African nkisis, family members and homages to inspiring figures like Malcolm X and John Lennon, provided the impetus for scintillating assemblages that combine smoothly polished wood with violent clusters of nails, screws, hinges, and bottle caps. Yet from this eloquent materiality percolates a deep spiritual awareness: one that speaks of ancient traditions and long-lost heritage and the understanding of humanity as a small island in the sea of time. At Met Breuer through December 2.