Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by Roger White as the gallery’s inaugural exhibition. For his first solo show, White will exhibit a series of large-scale works derived from patterned textiles, as well as several smaller scale still lifes of household objects. Exploring the line separating representation and abstraction, the works move nimbly between the accessibly quotidian and the seductively opaque – both inviting and challenging interpretation.
While drawing on the language of 20th century abstraction, White’s pattern paintings temper that language’s impulse towards epic, auratic significance, and emphasize, rather, the endless adjustments that are made when abstract forms encounter the world of the everyday. Using the patterns appearing on objects such as a towel or a quilt as models, and tweaking them subtly but crucially in the transition from decorative source to painting, White’s gesture of appropriation is set against a meticulous process of adaptation. Vigorous brushstrokes are held in check by the rigor of plotted design, offering a productive tension between improvisation and structure.
In his still life paintings, White continues to focus on the iconography of everyday life. In the depiction of anonymous yet wholly familiar items such as a water filter, a tissue box or a polo shirt, the artist explores the vocabulary of low-grade design and at-hand consumer items. Bringing to mind diverse sources of influence such as early Pop art, Precisionism and New Objectivity, these paintings suggests that a level, clear-eyed gaze at our contemporary experience does not preclude an affective relationship with it.