Three new exhibitions open now through April 29, 2023
White Columns

Now on view!
Three new exhibitions
March 14 – April 29, 2023

Lolly Batty

Camille Holvoet

Philip Van Aver: Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures, 1978 – 2021

Philip Van Aver, Garden Scene with Statue of Sleeping Ariadne, 1978, gouache and ink on paper, 7 ⅝ × 10 ¼ in.

Philip Van Aver: Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures, 1978 – 2021

White Columns is pleased to present Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures, 1978 – 2021, a survey of works by the New York-based artist Philip Van Aver (b. 1939.) The exhibition has been organized by the artist Jack Pierson, a long-time supporter of Van Aver’s work, in collaboration with White Columns, and includes more than forty individual works and a vitrine featuring printed ephemera, documentation of earlier works, and research materials drawn from the artist’s extensive archives. The exhibition is the most comprehensive presentation of Van Aver’s work since his 2009 exhibition at D’Amelio Terras, New York.

Philip Van Aver began his career in the early 1960s when he was part of San Francisco’s artistic and literary milieu. He had his first solo exhibition at the William Sabersky Gallery in Los Angeles in 1962. For over six decades he has worked almost exclusively on his signature small-format gouache and ink paintings on paper. The press release for his 2009 exhibition at D’Amelio Terras succinctly described his approach: “Van Aver creates detailed images of Baroque figures, decorative objects, flowers and plants enclosed in vibrant, coloristic borders. The compositions borrow formal ideas of recurring figures and spatial relations from Surrealism yet there is no attempt to depict light or depth. Pure perspective and real objects are drawn together in a straight-forward harmony which Van Aver says is influenced by the direct imagery of traditional folk music, but like The Child Ballads there is often an evocative undertone of menace or violence.”

A long-time collector of vintage postcards and toys, Van Aver’s aligned interests in the vernacular and the art historical result in images of often astounding visual and referential density. About his work Van Aver has said: “Ever since I was a child I have been drawn to small-scale objects and miniatures. Because I have always had this preoccupation, at some point I decided to incorporate this obsession into my artwork. Since Surrealism and other modern art movements tend to elevate the obsessional, I do not avoid this compulsion. Though I utilize traditional landscape, still life and figurative subjects, I inject these preoccupations into my depictions. In an attempt to create a fusion of visual ideas relevant to the subject matter, I am employing elements derived from classical antiquity, postcards, many kinds of decorative art, fashion and botanical prints, the movies of Luchino Visconti, old engravings and erotic material.”

Van Aver has long been involved in community organizing on the Lower East Side, where he has lived in the same apartment since 1969. (Prior to this he lived in an apartment on Horatio Street, a short walk from White Columns’ present location.) Imagery drawn from New York City’s queer histories are integrated into his compositions: many of his “models” were culled from the ads section of HX magazine, a now-defunct publication that circulated in the city’s gay bars throughout the 1990s and early aughts. The changing landscape of the city itself provides a broader context for the images of ruins that recur throughout his work, scenes in which desire and decay coalesce: for example, Love in the Ruins, 2015, inserts a portrait image of a young man drawn from a massage parlor advertisement into a scene of crumbling buildings framed by ornately-carved stone. The resulting image – like much of Van Aver’s work – is at once wistful, tender, and melancholic.



Philip Van Aver’s work has been held in the collections of the San Diego Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. As an illustrator his work has appeared in many publications including New York Magazine, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. Most recently, his work was included in the 2022 group exhibition Catechism at Bridget Donahue, New York, NY, and his work was the subject of a solo exhibition at D’Amelio Terras, New York, in 2009. In 2019 Artforum published a portfolio of Van Aver’s work accompanied by a text by Alex Jovanovich. He has been an active member of the Coalition for District Alternative (CoDA); the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative; and the Metropolitan Postcard Collectors Club.

For further information about these exhibitions contact:

Lolly Batty, Philatelic Items, 2011-2015. Postage stamps and ink on envelopes, dimensions vary.  

Lolly Batty

White Columns is pleased to present Philatelic Items, a solo exhibition of recent works by the London-based artist Lolly Batty. This will be Batty’s first exhibition in the United States.

The exhibition comprises a group of eighteen of Batty’s “postal” works presented in a vitrine, alongside an extensive selection of facsimiles of the artist’s notes and preparatory drawings. The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the artist Ian Whittlesea and The Everyday Press – who published Batty’s artist’s book Philatelic Items in 2022, copies of which can be purchased at White Columns.

Each of Batty’s works consists of an envelope and a formal arrangement of British postage stamps of various denominations, all of which feature the profile of Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022.) Each envelope also bears the address of the intended recipient (sometimes the artist herself.) Batty has then mailed the works – through the British postal service – where the stamps have been “franked” or “canceled” through mechanical means or by hand, prior to their eventual delivery.

Exploring the languages and methodologies of minimalism, conceptualism, mail art, and much more besides, Batty’s Philatelic Items are, in the words of the writer and curator Christabel Stewart “… both singularly authored, and a ‘collaboration’ with the postal system and its workers.” As such they are determinedly “social” works of art, what Stewart refers to as a “joint endeavor” between Batty and her unseen and unknown collaborators. Works from the Philatelic series have stamps that form ‘magic squares’, where each row, column and diagonal add up to the same number; some feature only prime numbers, while others explore the Fibonacci sequence. (The stamps themselves are also now something of anachronism, where the Queen’s portrait has been supplanted by that of her eldest son King Charles III.)

Over the past decade Batty has created more than two hundred of these Philatelic works, exploring the potentially infinite variations that her (intentionally) restricted materials offer. As Stewart suggests, there is “something generous and egalitarian about Batty’s process,” a process that is at once gently subversive and slyly humorous.



Lolly Batty is an artist based in London, U.K. Since the 1980s she has shown her work extensively including solo exhibitions at Victoria Miro Gallery (1986) and Cabinet (1992), both in London, and in group shows at Coracle, London and Bank, London among others. Her artist’s books Crosswords, 2009, and Philatelic Items, 2022, are published by The Everyday Press.



White Columns would like to thank Ian Whittlesea, Arnaud Desjardin, The Everyday Press, and Christabel Stewart for their cooperation on this project. A second exhibition of Batty’s ‘Philatelic Items’ will open at the Darren Flook gallery in London in Spring 2023. Batty’s exhibition at White Columns is accompanied by a text written by Christabel Stewart.

A drawing of the artist receiving an EEG test while laying in a hospital bed, her head festooned with colorful electrodes. Her eyes are closed and a faint smile is on her face. A static-y television is in the upper right corner.
Camille Holvoet, The New EEG Test in Chips..., 1988. Pastel and pencil on paper, 22 x 30 in.

Camille Holvoet

White Columns is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Camille Holvoet (b. 1952, San Francisco, CA) an artist who, since 2001, has been affiliated with Creativity Explored, a studio-based program in San Francisco that supports a community of artists with disabilities.

Holvoet grew up in San Francisco and, due to behavioral issues, was separated from her family at a young age. Institutionalized as a child, she eventually lost contact with her parents and siblings, but not before her older sisters taught her how to draw. Holvoet spent the rest of her adolescence and early adulthood living in group homes. Holvoet’s exhibition at White Columns focuses on a series of visceral, large-format pastel drawings that she produced between 1988 and 2001, when she was affiliated with Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center. (White Columns director Matthew Higgs came across them in Creative Growth’s archives in 2022 whilst researching for another exhibition.)  In these important earlier works Holvoet documents the often complex realities of her daily life: including portraits of friends, memories of her home life, her ongoing experiences with medication and medical procedures, depictions of funerals, and – crucially – her self-determined identity as an artist. At once diaristic and direct, Holvoet’s work from this era provides us with an unflinching yet poignant account of life’s myriad pleasures and contradictions.

Since 2001 Holvoet has worked in the studios of San Francisco’s Creativity Explored. She is now perhaps best known for her exuberant drawings of desserts and foodstuffs that conflate desire, consumption and seduction, three early examples of which can be viewed in White Columns’ office space. Writing about Holvoet in 2015, Priscilla Frank succinctly described her approach: “Sugar, frosting, cherries, pills, bodies, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds … these are the ingredients that make up Holvoet’s body of work. Like the strange lovechild of Wayne Thiebaud and Dorothy Iannone, Holvoet generously offers her viewers an all-you-can-see buffet of edible indulgence…”



Camille Holvoet (b. 1952) lives and works in San Francisco. Since 2001 she has been affiliated with Creativity Explored. Her work has been exhibited extensively at Creativity Explored, and in exhibitions at Jack Fischer Gallery (San Francisco), Summertime (New York), Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco), and at the Outsider Art Fair (New York), among other venues. To learn more, visit the artist’s page at:



White Columns would like to thank the staff of both Creative Growth and Creativity Explored for their enthusiasm and support for this exhibition. To learn more about both organizations visit: and

Since 2005 White Columns has collaborated on more than forty exhibitions and projects with national and international organizations that support artists with disabilities including: Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA; NIAD, Richmond, CA; Visionaries + Voices, Cincinnati, OH; Fountain House, New York, NY; HAI, New York, NY; Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland; and Intoart, London, England among others.

White Columns
91 Horatio Street
New York, NY 10014
Tuesday–Saturday, 11 AM–6 PM