On the occasion of her third solo exhibition with the Gallery Wendy White will present her recent Fotobild and PVC series, both of which introduce photography and sculptural framing into her painting practice. These newly implemented strategies extend White’s previous examinations of site-specificity, cosmopolitan density, abstraction, communication, and speed.
In the large-scale Fotobild paintings, White continues to conjoin component canvases and then secures commercial storefront awnings above and atop painted canvases. These awnings and armatures, fabricated at a sign shop in Chinatown, feature human-scale snapshots that White has culled from her digital and print archives.
A physical location captured by a mobile device does not rest in the limbo of an immaterial cloud. As a corollary to Henri Lefebrve’s concept of spatial diversion, White alters, prints and reinserts the mediated place into a material plane as a means of amplifying the antagonism between the private lives that modify planned domains. Within the painting’s blank recesses, via carefully layered aerosol applications and quick bursts of color, White strikes formal parallels to the varying speed of human interaction.
At both the level of the photograph and the painting, White underscores man-made alterations to specific locations. Whether her marks emulate exhaust trails left by delivery trucks or patches of paint that obscure defaced walls and doors, each mark refers to actual traces of human passage and the attendant tensions of overpopulated spaces. In line with this attention to place, each Fotobild rests one inch from the gallery floor to echo the fixed scale of original locations. Ambulatory audiences move past White’s paintings much in the same way that pedestrians walk into, out of or past these sites in New York (11 Oliver) or Savannah (El Rocko Lounge) or Detroit (SPBK).
These flurries of interaction are coupled with references to highly coded and sometimes illegible attempts at communication. The metastasized typography that has often bordered earlier paintings precipitate out of White’s larger compositions into the PVC paintings. In this series, rectangular canvases are tightly embedded within angular, custom-routed frames. A monochromatic layer of color unifies both components as the traditional ground of the canvas is pulled to its furthest edges. Vaguely letterform outlines resemble the hyperbolized graphics of graffiti tags in which the overall shape of strategically distended letters takes precedence over any linguistic attempt to convey a pseudonym.
On the surface and around the edges, White melds angles and counters to form the ligatures of an oblique argot. Letters, and along with them, fixed meaning, regress into shape. Her resulting exhibition presents new propositions for reconsidering the current state of landscape painting within the wider context of digital scapes, while also raising questions about how we mediate our physical surroundings within a contemporary context of communication that is constantly being reconciled between inter-subjective and immaterial interactions.
Wendy White was born in Deep River, CT. She earned a B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a M.F.A. from Rutgers University. White has had solo exhibitions at Leo Koenig Inc., New York; Galeria Moriarty, Madrid; Van Horn, Düsseldorf; University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in the US and abroad and her work was recently featured in Phaidon’s anthology Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting (2011). In 2013, White will have a solo exhibition at Maruani & Noirhomme, Brussels and a two-person exhibition at Anonymous Gallery in Mexico City. White is the recipient of a 2012 Painting Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She currently lives and works in New York City.