Josh Blackwell / Roger White is an exhibition of recent works by two artists stretching the imaginary limits of common objects, from Blackwell’s repurposing of everyday detritus into artistic tableaus, to White’s paintings and works on paper that read like uncanny portraits of inanimate things.
Blackwell presents an installation of a theme he has furtively investigated since the middle 2000s: the unassuming plastic bag as an art object. Utilitarian and easily recognizable, the bag in itself has a short shelf-life in common use, often used once and rendered as trash. By intricately embroidering patterns and swaths of color onto the plastic bags, Blackwell changes the merit of how we perceive them, and the basis of what differentiates objects from being seen as either low or high culture. Often repetitious in pattern and vibrant in palette, these works emphasize their ragtag appearance as humble remarks against the formal limits of minimalism.
White presents a series of recent paintings and works on paper that embraces a similar ethic of subtlety and choice. Throughout his career, White’s work has been an ongoing address to the limits and possibilities of rendering an object as a finished image. Often no more than the objects readily available around him (a dress shirt, a Brita water filter, or the sun), the images blur the line between the heft of physicality and the colors White uses, creating a middle ground of abstractive vagueness to explore. White is presented in the exhibition by six new paintings focusing around patterns and common objects, as well as four watercolors produced within the past two years.
Josh Blackwell and Roger White have had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. Blackwell has had solo exhibitions at Kate Macgarry, London, Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York, and Mary Goldman Gallery in Los Angeles. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and is represented by Kate Macgarry in London and John Tevis Gallery in Paris. White has recently presented his works in exhibitions at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Friedrich Petzel galleries, both in New York, and had a solo exhibition of his works at Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York in 2010. He is represented by Rachel Uffner. He currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.