FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wendy White: Madrid Me Mata
July 16 – September 1, 2014
Reception: Wednesday, July 16th, 7-10pm
Arts+Leisure is proud to announce the opening of its second exhibition in East Harlem, Madrid Me Mata, by New York-based artist Wendy White.
White is widely known for large-scale text paintings that hang inches above the floor, or lean on the wall. The text is often mirrored or sculpturally attached to the side of the canvas. In this new exhibition, White pays tribute to the recently shuttered Galería Moriarty in Madrid. While filled with the gestures and chops that are typical of White’s previous bodies of work, at A+L the artist does something a bit different – all the paintings are circular and hung on top of large-scale, manipulated Pedro Almodóvar film stills.
La Movida Madrileña was a countercultural movement in 1980s Spain characterized by freedom of expression and transgression from the taboos imposed by the Franco Regime. Here, White uses photography and cinematography to capture the atmosphere of the moment; pictures of food, magazine covers, and film posters - while paying strong homage to Almodóvar, a key presence in the Movida movement. Some hang and some are stacked for viewers to flip through.
It is impossible to experience Spain without Spanish fútbol. Like the rest of the world, the World Cup has engrossed the US this summer. It has filled every bar on every corner of our major cities – especially NYC, which arguably is the most multi-cultural of the nation’s cities – with a fever for the game. This hunger has a long history in Spain and is not limited to fútbol. It is equally found in language, food, and street fashion. Spanish culture is a dance, and this exhibition taps into that spirit, passion, and movement. For example, White’s painting La Luna de Madrid captures the pulse of Spain. The painting references an early-80s counterculture magazine by the same name, conceived and edited by the co-owner of Galeria Moriarty—yet it also references fútbol. A sticker of a soccer ball is positioned as if ready for a header, or perhaps already careening towards the net. “La Luna” of course translates to “The Moon.” In a similar way that the moon has gravitational control on the tides, fútbol has a pull on the revolutionary spirit of Spain, as the residual spirit of La Movida is found in fútbol fields, streets, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and art galleries. It is a lustful appetite, a craving, and an urge to dance. The fervor of Spain is timeless. La Movida was a manifestation of the need to bravely, voraciously, live life in the moment. This need to live in the present is nowhere more evident than in White’s paintings.
Another example is the painting Real Madrid – bold, direct, and unpretentious. It is wrapped in a gold frame that forms a crown, and the number 84 prominently fills the small canvas in a translucent yellow green. The painting calls our attention to the team, and the importance of the year 1984, when the Real Madrid won the UEFA Cup, their first title in 19 years, with a group of players known as La Quinta del Buitre (The Vulture Squad). The Vulture Squad developed a more athletic and expressionistic style of play that embraced Madrid’s newly-attained independence.
Please join us uptown on Wednesday, July 16th , from 7-10pm to experience the magnetism of the Madrid scene in the 1980s. A limited edition artist book accompanies Madrid Me Mata.
Wendy White was born in Deep River, CT and lives and works in New York, NY. She received a BFA from Savannah College of Art & Design and a MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has had solo exhibitions at Leo Koenig Inc, New York; Van Horn, Düsseldorf; Andrew Rafacz, Chicago; The M Building, Miami; Galeria Moriarty, Madrid; and Maruani Mercier, Brussels. White's group exhibitions include Futbol: The Beautiful Game at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Thinking Through Painting at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm; Informal Relations at Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art; The Digital Divide at Sies + Hoke, Düsseldorf; Hue & Cry at Sotheby's S2, New York; Third Thoughts at CCA Andratx, Mallorca; Mergers & Acquisitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; and Borderland Abstraction at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum,The New York Times, BOMB, Art Papers, Art in America, New York Magazine, and others. White received a 2012 painting grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and was featured in Vitamin P2, published by Phaidon, in 2011. White's institutional collections include the ARCO Foundation Collection, Savannah College of Art & Design, Red Bull America, Progressive Art Collection, and the UBS Art Collection.
Arts+Leisure is the project space of Freight+Volume gallery in Chelsea. Located at 1571 Lexington Ave between 100th and 101st streets in the UES/Spanish Harlem, opposite Church of the Life-Changers and a few blocks from El Museo del Barrio, it was founded in the spring of 2014 by Nick Lawrence, himself a painter and writer as well as owner/director of Freight+Volume, DNA Summer Residency in Provincetown, MA, and co-founder/partner of former LFL Gallery in NYC. Hours of Arts+Leisure are Wed-Sun 11-6 or by appointment. Please join us on Wednesday, July 16th, between 7-10pm at A+L for Wendy White’s Madrid Me Mata. Refreshments will be served. For more information or to obtain a pdf of the show please contact Nick Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-880-7299.