WHITE

November 4 – December 10, 2013
New York

Installation view

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Press Release

Dickinson Gallery is pleased to present WHITE an exhibition encompassing sculpture and painting, both figurative and abstract. The colour white has a lengthy and complex history in both art and society. It carries associations of purity in art and architecture: consider the almost blinding white of Michelangelo’s Carrara marble, for instance, or Whistler’s famous Symphony in White, No. 1, an allegory of innocence lost. In the modern era, white is minimalist, calling to mind Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic cylindrical Guggenheim museum building, or the white walls of contemporary gallery spaces. In Fontana’s Concetto spaziale series, the white canvases are the most desirable to collectors, while Malevich’s White on White series heralded the advent of Suprematism, stretching the limits of abstraction to an unprecedented degree with canvases pared back to a subtle and austere palette of varied white tones.
This exhibition focuses on the periods of Arte Povera and Brazilian Modernism of the 1950s, with examples shown alongside Contemporary works. Together, they demonstrate the diverse uses of materials by artists exploring concepts of purity, utopia and perfection. The exhibition also considers the ideas of Spatialism as stated in Fontana’s Manifesto Blanco of 1946, with artists breaking away from the illusionistic practices of traditional easel painting and turning instead to mixed media.
The gallery hosts a number of strong works in a range of media. Brazilian and other South American artists are represented by Hélio Oiticica, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Lygia Pape, whose work was substantially influenced by European modernists such as Mondrian and Malevich. Among the sculptors is the American artist Tara Donovan, known for assembling everyday objects (in this case, white paper plates) into seemingly organic works. Realism is represented by Domenico Gnoli’s Shirt Collar 14 1⁄2, which transforms a standard domestic subject into something verging on abstraction by zooming in and painting on a monumental scale.
Although the exhibited works span a wide range of styles and media, they are united by their reliance on a palette restricted to shades of white, and together they inspire us to reconsider what “white” means to the 21st-century viewer. This exhibition includes the following artists: Sergio CAMARGO
Enrico CASTELLANI , Keith COVENTRY, Tara DONOVAN, Lucio FONTANA, Lydia GIFFORD, Domenico GNOLI, Michelle GRABNER, Elsa HANSEN, Thomas HOUSEAGO, Sol LEWITT , Bertrand LAVIER, John LEHR, Erik LINDMAN, Piero MANZONI , Helio OITICICA and Neville D'ALMEIDA, Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Jesús Rafael SOTO, Luis TOMASELLO, Günther UECKER, Adriana VAREJÃO, Bernar VENET, Rachel WHITEREAD

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