Sept 1 - Oct 29, 2022 galerie lange + pult, Zürich
We are pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Wendy White Soft Focus at galerie lange + pult.
Wendy White proposes installations that explore and expand the possibilities of traditional canvas painting, constantly crossing the boundaries between painting and sculpture. White's art is individual and instinctive and while maintaining her aesthetic focus, she clearly feels free to experiment by introducing new elements and allowing them to establish their own rhythms.
In her solo show Soft Focus, Wendy White combines elements of her visual language, particularly pop culture symbolism, with her paintings enhanced by three-dimensional elements.
The title Soft Focus has dual meaning. It suggests photographic space; one that juxtaposes a hard- edge object against something soft or atmospheric. The title also speaks to the cultural moment, one in which we wrest with multiple global issues simultaneously, making largely futile attempts to find meaning and move forward.
The sculptures, which are hand sculpted from epoxy resin, are anthropomorphized peace symbols. They hang on the wall, symbolizing mutability and ultimate futility.
A series of tondos operate like lenses or portals into an atmospheric space. Dripping epoxy frames suggest the dissolution of the traditional frame as a device for defining pictorial space. The circular shapes reoccur elsewhere in the show—within the painted space they suggest lens flares, pointing again to photographic space, image capture, and landscape.
The After Calder series is inspired in part by Alexander Calder’s prototypical works from the late 1930s. Each piece juxtaposes an atmospheric surface with a suspended sculpture, expanding the traditional notion of “focal point” into three dimensions. Objects hover in front of blurry landscapes like frozen pendulums.
By juxtaposing airbrushed canvases with sculptural elements, the compositions enter the viewer's physical space. This "entry" of the viewer's space challenges historical conventions about how one should view and interact with paintings and sculpture. By blurring the boundaries between painting and sculpture, Wendy White's hanging forms also act as the prelude to an enchanted architecture, visualizing the creation and perception of a painting according to its own internalized laws.
Added to this is the sensation, and if not the urge, to set the works in motion. Thus, Wendy White's works are given yet another dimension, that of the sense of touch.
The symbols in the exhibition reference weather and emotional states; while rain clouds suggest nourishment, pixelated hearts are stand-ins for accumulated lives in video games and rainbows reference the optimism of a sky finally clearing after a storm. Presented in matte black and pared down to their formal essence, each symbol is suspended between a real and painted space.
Wendy White was born in Deep River, Connecticut in 1971 and lives and works in New York City. Her work has been presented in museums all around the U.S. and Germany in recent years.