American Idyll

July 3 - Dec 30, 2018
SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA

For American Idyll, White took inspiration from Andy Warhol's radical 1969 exhibition Raid the Icebox, in which he was similarly tasked with selecting works from a museum's permanent collection. The resulting exhibition was a non-academic display of clusters of classical painting, Native American textiles and auction catalogs, baskets, ceramics, furniture, hat boxes, sculpture, shoes and more. Warhol’s selected items were exhibited exactly as they were seen in storage on shelves or clustered in non-hierarchical groupings.

White mined the collection to pair works with her two Jofas, custom sofas upholstered with reclaimed denim jeans. These two large, sectional sofas include vintage artists books focused on National Parks, in which White applied drawings and collage to alter each page. The Jofas provide a contemplative space for visitors to consider the selections from the permanent collection and the overlapping concepts informing White’s work: travel, exploration of the American West, reliance on the oil and gas industry and road-tripping that coalesced during a recent trip the artist took across the U.S.

The resulting exhibition is a tribute to the deadpan, behind-the-scenes nature of Warhol’s show that incorporates vinyl photo applications on the walls of the lobby depicting reproductions of the metal racks in the storage spaces of the museum. The photos of these racks feature a hanging of first- and second-generation Hudson River School paintings, select landscape photographs, and a Polaroid and silkscreen by Warhol depicting Uncle Sam and Sitting Bull, respectively. These works are displayed exactly as they are seen in storage and embody ideas of exploration, Americana, discovery and expansion, tying to White's inspiration for her recent work.