Gallery in Boston's South End
Nancy White, #40, 2012, acrylic on paper, 10 x 8 inches
BOSTON--Less than a mile south of Newbury Street is the South End, a once thriving, then down-and-out, and now thriving-again area that holds the majority of the city's galleries. If Newbury Street is the 57th Street of Boston, then the South End is its Chelsea, SoHo and Lower East Side all rolled into one..
Nancy White's first solo show in Boston is up now at the Steven Zevitas Gallery in the South End, through January 26. White, an accomplished and much-exhibited painter who lives and works in
, makes the kind of quiet painting that would get swallowed up at an art fair. But in a modestly sized gallery such as Steven Zevitas’s, and with an installation such as the one he gave her—enough space between the works for the contemplation of each one—the setting was perfect. San Francisco
The spare installation
Nancy White at the opening of her show, New Work. The painting at her left shoulder is the one that opens this post; the one behind her is shown below
Compositionally, White fills the plane with hard-edge geometric shapes. Allow your eyes to wander and you'll find that those flat shapes in flat colors do something unexpected: They begin to suggest pictorial space. Indeed it seems that the closer you are to the work, the deeper the space becomes. This is definitely what White is directing the composition to do. Personally I waver between wanting to see them as pure abstraction and allowing my eye to wander into their depths.
#35, 2012, acrylic on paper, 10 x 8 inches
#42, 2-12m acrylic on paper, 10.5 x 8.75 inches
As I was wandering pictorially, I found myself thinking of the Cave of the Sibyl of Cumae, near Naples. I'm not sure that's what White had in mind, but that's the thing about opening up ambiguous space. You never know where it will lead.
Entrance to the cave. Image from Wikipedia
Another view. Image from Philip Coppens blog
#44, 2012, acrylic on paper, 10.5 x 8.5 inches
See more of Nancy White's work on the gallery website
Read The Boston Globe review here