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White’s high-contrast black and white paintings which quietly exist as silent moments of everyday life bring together the still-life genre of 17th Dutch painting with the rigorous methodology of 1970s’ Conceptual Art, recalling, for instance, On Kawara’s systematic approach to documenting time.
Entire photography courtesy of the artist and Max Wigram Gallery, London
White’s high-contrast black and white paintings which quietly exist as silent moments of everyday life bring together the still-life genre of 17th Dutch painting with the rigorous methodology of 1970s’ Conceptual Art, recalling, for instance, On Kawara’s systematic approach to documenting time. The source materials for his subjects are snapshots from his life, impulsively taken photographs. Their slow, detailed transformation into paintings and then into sculptural objects places great emphasis on the process and physicality of the work. According to the British critic Martin Herbert, White’s paintings can be seen as images of things usually overlooked, meticulously rendered in oil paint photo-realistically. The result is works that blur the boundaries between photography and painting. In a society of sensationalism, they depict unassuming moments of a prelude or an aftermath (their chilly metallic look, punchy with contrast, suggests some forensic photographic antecedents). His most recent series Dark Thoughts (2006-) consists of portraits of friends painted with their eyes closed to convey their withdrawal into a mind space. White asked his friends to think of the first and worst thing they could imagine, a thought which becomes the subject of the paintings. Removing a convention associated with traditional portraiture – that of the eye contact - White creates a further barrier by obscuring his paintings with dark tinted Perspex.
White (b. 1967, Tiverton, UK) lives and works in London. This year forthcoming projects include a solo show at Max Wigram Gallery and ’Dawnbreakers’ at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. Last year White had a solo show at c/o Gehardsen Gerner (Berlin) and represented Max Wigram Gallery at The Armory Show (New York) with a solo project. In 2008 he had solo exhibitions with Atle Gerhardson, Berlin and Max Wigram Gallery, London. In 2007 he had solo shows with the Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, and Max Wigram Gallery. Other exhibitions include: ICA, London (All Tomorrows Pictures, 2007); The Saatchi Gallery (New Blood, 2004); The New Art Gallery, Walsall (Blue, 2000); Fig-1 (Atoll, 2000) and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (solos in 1997 and 2000). In 2006 he received the John Moores 24 Painting Prize.
10 June – 17 July 2010
Max Wigram Gallery
106 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1DN
Private view Wednesday 9 June 2010, 6.30pm-8.30pm