Wendy White: Low Relief

26 March - 7 May 2022

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Low Relief, New York-based Wendy White’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist will present two new bodies of work: the After Calder series and a group of new epoxy resin floor sculptures. Also on view will be a large-scale mobile situated at the entrance to the gallery.

  • The exhibition’s title, Low Relief, takes on a double meaning: as an art term, it relates to low relief in...
    Wendy White
    Low Relief (Relaxing), 2022
    Wire, epoxy resin, enamel
    5 x 16 x 12 in

    The exhibition’s title, Low Relief, takes on a double meaning: as an art term, it relates to low relief in sculpture, yet it also suggests a release from anxiety or distress.

  • Wendy White
    Mobile (Peace), 2021
    Dibond, steel, epoxy resin, powder coated steel chain, cotton rope, hardware, LED
    96 x 96 in (variable)
  • In confronting these two concepts at once, White lays out a visual landscape that is both peaceful and jarring, foreign...
    Wendy White
    Drop II (after Calder), 2021
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    61.25 x 48 x 9.5 in
    Framed: 80 x 48 x 9.5 in

    In confronting these two concepts at once, White lays out a visual landscape that is both peaceful and jarring, foreign and familiar.

  • Wendy White
    Eventide, 2021
    Acrylic on two canvases, dibond
    72 x 72 in
  • White’s After Calder works—framed canvases with suspended sculptures attached—ask the viewer to reconsider what constitutes a painting by challenging art...
    Wendy White
    Rainbow (after Calder), 2022
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    48 x 63.75 x 9.5 in
    Framed: 48 x 66.75 x 9.5 in

    White’s After Calder works—framed canvases with suspended sculptures attached—ask the viewer to reconsider what constitutes a painting by challenging art historical conventions of representational artworks as solely a space for illusion.

  • Inspired in part by Alexander Calder’s prototypical works from the late-1930s, each piece juxtaposes an atmospheric surface with a suspended...
    Wendy White
    Pleasure! (after Calder), 2021
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    61.25 x 48.25 x 9.5 in
    Framed: 79.75 x 48.25 x 9.5 in

    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.

  • Adding to the sculptural presence of the paintings, museum-style floor risers have been installed throughout the gallery, designating a controlled viewing distance as well as reflecting light back onto the work. This serves as a tongue-in-cheek reference to high-modernist presentation and the elevating of objects in an institutional context.

  • Wendy White
    Low Relief (Alone in Public), 2022
    Wire, wood, epoxy resin, enamel
    61 x 26 x 11.25 in
  • In all of these new works, White combines iconic elements of her visual language, including gestural abstraction, pop culture symbology,...
    Wendy White
    Rain Cloud (after Calder), 2021
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    61.25 x 48 x 8 in
    Framed: 61.25 x 51 x 8 in

    In all of these new works, White combines iconic elements of her visual language, including gestural abstraction, pop culture symbology, and sculptural adaptations to painting.

  • Through this recontextualizing of her signature artistic gestures, she furthers a core objective of her work: to push against the...
    Wendy White
    Rainbow II (after Calder), 2022
    Acrylic on canvas, painted wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    37 x 39.75 x 2.5 in
    Framed: 37 x 42.25 x 2.5 in

    Through this recontextualizing of her signature artistic gestures, she furthers a core objective of her work: to push against the limitations proposed by conventional, image-based painting, which she finds creatively stultifying. 

  • As we recognize these elements as belonging to the artist’s distinct visual lexicon, we are also presented with a new, hybrid experience of her creative practice.

    • Wendy White Sunset (Dripping), 2022 Acrylic on canvas, plexiglas and PVC frame 23 x 19 in
      Wendy White
      Sunset (Dripping), 2022
      Acrylic on canvas, plexiglas and PVC frame
      23 x 19 in
    • Wendy White Fog Cloud, 2020 Dibond, ball chain 20 x 24 inches 1 of 3
      Wendy White
      Fog Cloud, 2020
      Dibond, ball chain
      20 x 24 inches
      1 of 3
    • Wendy White Sunrise (Dripping), 2022 Acrylic on canvas, plexiglas and PVC frame 23 x 19 in
      Wendy White
      Sunrise (Dripping), 2022
      Acrylic on canvas, plexiglas and PVC frame
      23 x 19 in
  • Suspending her signature black Dibond sculptures against grainy, raw canvases airbrushed in muted sunset palettes, White creates deep and shallow...
    Wendy White
    Fog Cloud (after Calder), 2022
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    48 x 63.75 x 9.5 in
    Framed: 48 x 66.25 x 9.5 in

    Suspending her signature black Dibond sculptures against grainy, raw canvases airbrushed in muted sunset palettes, White creates deep and shallow space simultaneously. 

  • Her sculptural symbols conjure various meanings: cut-out rain clouds suggest weather patterns; pixelated hearts are stand-ins for accumulated lives in video games (or perhaps likes to online content); and rainbows take on the optimism of a sky finally clearing after a storm. 

  • Presented in matte black and pared down to their formal essence, each symbol remains quietly suspended between real and painterly...
    Wendy White
    Pixel Heart (after Calder), 2021
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    61.25 x 48.25 x 9.5 in
    Framed: 79.5 x 48.25 x 9.5 in

    Presented in matte black and pared down to their formal essence, each symbol remains quietly suspended between real and painterly space.

  • Wendy White
    Raincloud II (Neon Signs on Overcast Days), 2021
    Aluminum, automotive paint
    48 x 60 in
  • Wendy White
    Cloud and Rainbow (after Calder), 2021
    Acrylic on canvas, wood frame, steel, cotton rope, dibond
    61.25 x 48 x 8 in
    Framed: 61.25 x 50 x 8 in
  • White’s new free-standing sculptures riff on Alberto Giacometti's attenuated figures. Yet, while she adopts Giacometti’s stylized texture, she eschews the human figure, choosing instead anthropomorphized peace symbols in various states of action and rest: transience, walking toward an unknown destination, relaxing, and lying on the floor. In animating such a ubiquitous symbol, the artist calls attention to both the mutability of symbols and our collective ennui in making sense of them.

    • Wendy White Low Relief (exhausted), 2022 Wire, epoxy resin, enamel 1 x 10 x 8.5 in
      Wendy White
      Low Relief (exhausted), 2022
      Wire, epoxy resin, enamel
      1 x 10 x 8.5 in
    • Wendy White Low Relief (Walking), 2022 Wire, wood, epoxy resin, enamel 25 x 27 x 9.25 in
      Wendy White
      Low Relief (Walking), 2022
      Wire, wood, epoxy resin, enamel
      25 x 27 x 9.25 in
  • The works in Low Relief continue a decades-long exploration of art history and pop culture symbolismboth in critique and homagesuggesting that there are no new marks, only new combinations.

  • Wendy White (b. 1971, Deep River, CT, Lives, and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from Mason Gross...

    Wendy White (b. 1971, Deep River, CT, Lives, and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Institutional exhibitions include Low Pressure at Museum Goch, Germany; The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art at Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2018) and LACMA, Los Angeles (2014); Full of Peril and Weirdness: Painting as a Universalism, M Woods, Beijing (2015); Globe as a Palette: Contemporary Art from the Taguchi Collection, Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art (2019); The Art Show: Art of the New Millenium in Taguchi Art Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan (2016); Taguchi Hiroshi Art Collection at The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan (2015); American Idyll at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2018); EXPEDITION at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (2021); and So Athletic, Kunstverein Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin (2012).

    Wendy White is the recipient of the Teiger Mentorship in the Arts at Cornell University (2019), a Painting Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2012), and a George Segal Painting Grant (2008). Her work was featured in Phaidon’s anthology Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting (2011) and has been reviewed in The New YorkerThe New York TimesArtforumArt in AmericaNew York MagazineThe Washington PostThe San Francisco ChronicleArtnetTime Out New YorkModern PaintersArtNews and BOMB Magazine, among others.

  • In 2021, White completed a site-specific mural at the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, St. Louis. The artist’s works are in the permanent collection of Detroit Institute of the Arts; The High Museum; RISD Art Museum; Museum Goch; The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in Birmingham; Kranzberg Art Foundation; Saks Fifth Avenue; Taguchi Art Collection; UK Art Museum; Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Savannah College of Art & Design; UBS Art Collection; Progressive Art Collection; Jimenéz-Colón Collection; The Shinola Hotel; Tulip Collection; Rocket Mortgage Field House; Detroit Pistons Practice Facility; Southern Poverty Law Center and ARCO Foundation. In 2022, White’s work will join the Le Verger Sculpture Garden in Lacoste, France.