En Asfalto

Sept 20 - Oct 2012
Galeria Moriarty, Madrid

Wendy White inaugurates the new Moriarty space in Tamayo and Baus 6, exactly three years after Feel Rabid Or Not, her first exhibition at the gallery, and after presenting several important pieces of her recent production in the last edition of ARCO Madrid, where she was chosen by the gallery as the featured artist for its stand project. Entitled En Asfalto, the exhibition opens alongside Wendy White's solo show at Leo Koenig Inc. in New York.

For the exhibition, White will debut two new series—large-scale paintings based on commercial and residential doors in Chinatown and the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and smaller works dealing with the physicality of language. Both continue the artist's exploration of non-hierarchial markmaking, text forms, and the boundary between painting and sculpture.

Doors themselves are iconic objects—portals—however, in an urban environment, they are also mere pieces of wood or metal between the intensity of the street and one’s private space. Nearly every door in Chinatown is marked, tagged with graffiti, or littered with three or four different address iterations. As these are covered up, new markings appear within days. White takes photos while commuting on foot and by subway between her apartment in Chinatown and studio in Brooklyn. This series of photographs become the departure point for the large works—a way to loosely determine the text, composition, scale relationships, and palette of each. When a painting is complete, she rests a sheet of clear acrylic against it in the same size, adding a reflective surface that allows objects in the room to contextualize with the painting itself. Sports balls applied to the acrylic humorously mimic a shattered surface. This is an extension of the artist's interest in the interaction of athletics and artmaking as well as a wry comment on illusion in traditional painting; a “shattering” of the picture plane.

A second series of small works comprises stretched canvases inset into CNC-routed PVC frames. These works are a structural continuation of White's ongoing series, Contained Paintings, and feature isolated graphic elements, numerals, and truncated text. The latter often continues onto the frame itself, resulting in two-dimensional works that literally take on the form of sculpted letters.