JAMES WHITE: The Rough with the Smooth/Relationships18. Oct - 15. Nov 08 / ended Max Wigram Gallery
Tues-Fri 10 - 6pm, Sat 1 - 5pm & by appt
Max Wigram Gallery is proud to announce its third solo show by British artist James White.
White is well known for his black and white, meticulously crafted paintings of quiet, familiar situations and ordinary subjects. At the core of White’s practice is the slow transformation of his own snapshots of daily life into paintings, which ultimately become sculptural objects. By encasing the paintings in vitrine-like perspex boxes the artist emphasizes the objecthood of the work, at the same time denying the viewer a direct relationship with the painted surface. In these crystalline paintings emptied of colour, objects are reduced to the core of their essence and are turned from the tools of the everyday into symbolic fragments of a life – mysterious icons of the familiar.
The Rough with the Smooth/Relationships presents eight new paintings and brings together two new bodies of work.
On the first floor, paintings belonging to The Rough with the Smooth document moments from a transitional period in the artist’s life - melancholic moments when items are left behind or brought into a new context: “As happens repeatedly in White’s work, the specified moment is not that of delirious communion with a distracting pastime, but one anterior or posterior to it: an instant in which a specific diversion from earthly cares is seen with its lights out, its appeal made slightly mysterious; thereby throwing into relief the ongoing compromise, the fragile neediness, of the users’ life” (Martin Herbert)
The second floor displays three paintings belonging to a larger series: Relationships. Their original source is a series of photographs taken by the artist on a solitary flight between Germany and London. Once again, White concentrates on scenes at the periphery of our daily experience, items we usually stare at blankly, when deeply lost in thought. These objects then become subliminally symbolic; the plastic leftover vessels of an in-flight meal suggest various protagonists in a domestic relationship, each element representing one member of this ‘ideal’ family.
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