Pentimento-Anthony White

Solo Exhibition at Metro gallery

Anthony White born Sydney Australia 1976,graduated from National Art School, Sydney in 2005 BFA White uses landscape and architectural references to work across discliplines of drawing, painting, collage and sculpture. His works are often characterised by an awareness of surface and a preoccupation with the engagement of physicality and the found object.

Art Exhibition previously on in Victoria, Australia.
From Monday 13 April 2015 to Saturday 02 May 2015
Launch Thursday 16 April 2015, 1830

Anthony White-Flight image

Published by AdminIndustries on Thursday 16 April 2015.
Contact the publisher.

Anthony White ‘Pentimento’
Secret Histories – Words by Ashley Crawford

It seems apt that Anthony White’s potent new body of works were executed in Paris. The City of Light is, after all, home to a culture fascinated with diverse forms of human expression. This is evidenced from Picasso’s early love affair with African sculpture through to the more recent establishment of The Musée du quai Branly with its cornucopia of indigenous imagery.

The Musée du quai Branly is particularly noteworthy for its goldmine of Australian Indigenous art. Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri amongst others grace its walls. This is worth mentioning because White, although by now clearly recognised as an international artist and based in France, was born in Australia, and contemplating these works, with their chalky whites and intense ochres, it is not hard to recall the tribal markings of the Pitjantjara or the Yirridjdja. And although he is known as an abstractionist, it is also not hard to re-read these works as landscape – the deep, gloomy eucalypt forests that dominate parts of Arnhem Land.

White may be uncomfortable with this perhaps fanciful reading. But this series is, after all, titled after the Italian term Pentimento. This phrase, which is used to describe layerings, additions or changes to a work of art, allows multitudinous readings, different layers as one descends through White’s palimpsest of forms and colours. However pentimento can also be translated as repentance, which suggests atonement or remorse. In 2009, White immigrated to France after being awarded a studio at La Cite Internationale Des Arts. Is Pentimento, then, a form of atonement for having left his native country, a gift from afar to compensate for his departure from Australia? Rather than Australian indigenous art, White is more accustomed to comparisons with the abstractionists of the New York School of the 1950s, Kurt Schwitters or Robert Rauchenberg’s Combines. The artist himself suggests the French affichistes artist Jacques Villegle who, alongside fellow artist Raymond Hains, created magical collages via torn metro and street posters, creating poetical compositions that embraced elements of the alphabet, photography and design. It is not difficult to see Villegle’s influence on White. Although distinctly painterly, one can see the suggestions of torn edges, of strange depths as though other narratives reside beneath the immediate surface. Like the hidden Egyptian hieroglyphs obscured by palimpsests of ‘new’ information, White creates a world of textures, his own secret histories which allow hours of contemplation, translation and interpretation


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