For her first solo show in France, Wendy White presents a series of new works at the Jérôme Pauchant Gallery that draw inspiration from the world of skiing.
For the artist, ski jumping is a powerful metaphor of personal expression. To descend a mountain rapidly. To take off outside oneself fending off the wind, trying at the same time to get as far from the ground as possible and to land as gently and smoothly as the snow allows. In this series, this immaterial moment is dilated, multiplied and separated from its athletic context, leading us to reflect on immediacy, on preparing the jump, and on pure action. These moments of glory are represented through two complementary frameworks: both with the images of skiers in action and through the logos of sports equipment brands. Symbols of movement and speed, mouthpiece of a glorious moment, these icons become paradoxically static when juxtaposed with the vibrating and gradient surface of the paintings which drip like melting medals. The result is a body of work that questions our relationship to media images and athletic performance through their "magic moments".
The theme of sports is not new in Wendy’s work, which in recent years explores the frontier between the psychological aspects of athletics and its representation in contemporary society. The artist pays particular attention to the frontier between the work and the space it is presented in. Her large canvases are hung very close to the floor, completely absorbing the viewer. In addition, the floor of the gallery is completely covered with carpeting, softening the visitor’s steps like a subtle layer of snow. The lack of perspective and flattened horizon collapse and condense space, enveloping the viewer’s field of vision in a dichotomous tension between distance and proximity.
These works signal a condensation of controlled strength and softness, an attention to airiness and gravity, to rigor and letting go... When we observe the large surfaces of the works, painted with airbrush, we can almost hear the faint sound of paint being nebulized onto the canvas, a sound which in turn evokes the sliding and bouncing of skis on the snow.
Text by Martina Sabbadini.
Images courtesy of Galerie Jérôme Pauchant and Wendy White.
Wendy White - Skiing
Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, October 15 - November 28