May 7 - June 11, 2011
Western Project is proud to present the sixth solo exhibition in Los Angeles by Wayne White. Entitled, Sand Mountain Tractor, White’s masterful new body of work channels the landscape of his native Tennessee through everyday objects and scraps of our culture into puppets, paintings, drawings and sculpture.
The exhibition also revisits the spirit of his 1970’s punk rock puppet shows in New York, as the artist will perform Rebel vs Yankee, a full on assault of puppets, images, sound, music and fun. A historian of thrift store objects and Americana, White uses language and humble bits of our lives to construct ornate sculptures using the puppet as form; figuration as fantastic stick structures, a modernist mid century house, and a multistoried clapboard house with legs (and genitalia), each wholly unique.
Akin to Red Grooms or Bruce Conner, White’s use of materials is immediate and intimate. The anthropomorphic works are made up of hundreds of items: bottle caps, twigs, Popsicle sticks, papier-mâché, string, cardboard, wood, or spinning ventilators. All seem to have emerged from a realm similar to White’s new canvases and works on paper. Field paintings of thousands of lines and shapes describe a landscape without center, similar to Jackson Pollack but with out the dread and anxiety of Abstract Expressionism. White uses the language of A/E yet reveals, “I’m not listening to Rothko, I’m listening to puppets….’. Yet White’s practice of art making parallels Pollock’s; it is process as total immersion; expression as pointing away from the self, about life, all things sprouting, joining, growing and recombining. Unlike many of his contemporaries interested in a kitchy/goth death vision, White responds to the world with fascination, and mocks the hubris of the cynical with his head in the sublime.
White recently completed a series of live shows in Los Angeles at Café Largo and in New York at the Roseland Ballroom, entitled, “You’re Supposed to Act All Impressed”. He has exhibited extensively throughout North America, most recently at the Marty Walker Gallery in Dallas, Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, Rice University Houston, and in Germany, Naples, Italy and Zurich, Switzerland. A monograph of his work was released in 2009: Wayne White: Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve edited and designed by Todd Oldham and published by Ammo Books, LLC. He is in numerous museum collections including The New Museum, New York, The Detroit Art Museum, Laguna Art Museum, Chapman University, and Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, California, among others.