The gallery is pleased to announce Dream Feed, an exhibition of new paintings by New York based artist Wallace Whitney. In what has become Whitney’s signature approach to abstract painting; bold, colorful, and energetic brushstrokes dominate the picture plane. Building upon the history and legacy of New York abstraction, Whitney’s works are the result of episodes of intuitive but articulated painting followed by extended periods of study and refinement.
The unmediated and improvisational quality in Whitney’s paintings likens each of them to scientific residue or psychic mementos. They serve as witnesses to the gesture, evidence of the body, and as a reaffirmation of the intrinsic materiality of painting. Whitney has inherited a strong gestural sense from artists like Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, yet his disarming, discordant use of color, line, and pictorial depth are evocative of Hans Hofmann or Philip Guston. Whitney’s is a deliberate chaos, or simulated disarray – one can appreciate the artist’s sense of history, both the history of modernist painting as well as the internal history embedded in each painting.
The works in Dream Feed, as the title suggests, are painted with a stream of consciousness, free-associative approach to mark making.
But while the brassy and more overt gestures Whitney makes dominate the canvases – this is certainly an aesthetic of parry and thrust – there are quieter moments within them as well: drips and globs of paint that leaven the drama. Whitney orchestrates pigment into a kind of harmony, his compositions always seeming resolved, as if they have been brought back from the edge of dissonance into something more contemplative. – James Yood, Artforum
In the episodic accumulations of marks there is a compressed iteration of life in a pulsating environment, specifically the Bronx neighborhood were the artist lives and works. The artist’s sensitivity to his immediate surroundings and landscape root the works in the moment. From the wash of LaGuardia jet traffic in the sky to the defiantly scarred street trees, flocks of noisy feral parrots, and the outcrops of Bronx bedrock coated in spray paint, Whitney folds these fragments from daily life into formally rich and poetically generous abstract pictures.
Wallace Whitney (b. 1969, Boston, MA) lives and works in the Bronx. He received a MFA from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY and a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Kunsthall Frederianum in Kassel, Germany, the Ulrich Museum in Kansas City, MO and CANADA, New York. His work has been discussed in Artforum, The New York Times and The New Yorker. The artist is a co-founder and director of CANADA in the Lower East Side. Dream Feed is the artist’s first solo show with Horton Gallery.