White Columns

Now on view!

Three new exhibitions

Carole Gibbons 

Carole Gibbons, installation view, 2024. (Angled view of a freestanding gallery wall, where a large colorful painting of a woman holding an orange cat hangs in a wooden frame. In the background, four brightly colored paintings are visible on the north main gallery wall, which appear mostly abstract at this distance. All the paintings are framed and hung within a painted white square on the gray gallery walls.)
Carole Gibbons, installation view, 2024.

“Carole Gibbons became an artist when nearly all Scottish painters either supported themselves by teaching or emigrated. The only exceptions were those who inherited money or resigned themselves to poverty and neglect. Of the latter group some died early. Thank goodness Carole and her talent have survived. Her spiritual colleagues are painters as different as Munch, Bonnard and Braque. For like them she shows people and things coloured as much by her emotions as by the light of places where she works. Her still lives, mostly painted in Glasgow, are strong but melancholy interior harmonies where rich colours – some surprisingly sweet – glow among sombre ones.” – Alasdair Gray, author of Poor Things, 2003.

White Columns is proud to present the first exhibition in the United States by Glasgow-based artist Carole Gibbons (b. Glasgow, 1935.)

Despite achieving a degree of local success earlier in her career, Gibbons’ practice has been largely obscured over the past half-century. The renewed interest in her work, initially from a generation of younger artists with roots in Glasgow including the painters Lucy Stein and Andrew Cranston, has resulted in a reappraisal of Gibbons’ practice that led to the publication in 2023 of her first monograph; a widely reviewed 2023 solo exhibition at Glasgow’s Céline gallery; and the inclusion of her work in Tate Britain’s current and ground-breaking feminist exhibition in London: “Women In Revolt!: Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990.” Gibbons was a student at The Glasgow School of Art in the late 1950s. After her studies, she traveled Europe, living and working in Spain for a period before returning to Glasgow in 1967. Her paintings, produced over the past six decades, provide us with a compelling narrative that mirrors the ensuing shifts in British culture, from the post-war austerity of the 1950s, via the societal shifts of the 1960s and 1970s, to her more recent impact on subsequent generations of artists working with and around figuration. Her exhibition at White Columns, her first in the United States, takes the form of a focused survey of what she has described as her “post-mythological” period from the early 1970s to the present, and will be presented alongside a selection of works on paper and historical materials drawn from the artist’s archives.

At once familiar and utterly distinctive, Gibbons’ work draws freely from both art history and the incidental poetry of everyday life. Her paintings are marked by a unique quality of attention that converges at the point where the universal meets the quotidian. Even in Gibbons’ later works, a feeling of the mythic persists, an interior or psychologically fraught world always threatening to emerge through the shimmering materiality of her forms. In Gibbons’ cosmos, everyday scenes evoke enchanted encounters replete with protean shapes. Objects seem to abide by a mysterious though omnipresent internal logic, what the artist Lucy Stein has described as “instinct becoming form.”

Read the rest of the press release here.

Vince Aletti – The Drawer

Vince Aletti, installation view, 2024. (A head-on view of a white-walled gallery with five tables protruding from the walls. On the furthest wall, a book sits on a shelf with a stool in front.)
Vince Aletti, installation view, 2024.

White Columns is pleased to present The Drawer – an installation by the New York-based writer and curator Vince Aletti.

Titled after Aletti’s award-winning 2022 book The Drawer, the installation takes the form of five large-scale tabletop arrangements of printed ephemera drawn from Aletti’s vast – and legendary – collection (that is typically housed in antique flat file drawers in his East Village apartment.) Collected over several decades, Aletti’s ‘image bank’ focuses on portraiture with an emphasis on portraits of men.

Like its printed counterpart, Aletti’s installation freely juxtaposes images drawn from the worlds of art, photography, fashion and popular culture: images that originally appeared and previously circulated as gallery announcements, in magazines and newspapers, as cinema lobby cards, and much more besides. Eschewing any distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low,’ with The Drawer Aletti celebrates photography’s multiple and overlapping histories, and photography’s ongoing entanglements with the media and the printed image. Seen together and in relationship to one another, Aletti’s often visceral juxtapositions explore and amplify “the complexity and variety of desire, personal and collective histories, and the power of art to reflect and shape who we are.”

Sharing an aesthetic intensity with the devotional, scrapbook-like displays to be found on a teenager’s bedroom wall, and the more pointed juxtapositions evidenced in the extraordinary collaged photomurals that the British playwright Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell created for their mid-1960s London flat, Aletti’s installation is an open-ended visual ‘essay’ on the seductive power – and potential – of images.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

Veronica Ryan – Collective Moments 
Presented in collaboration with Camden Art Centre, London

Veronica Ryan, installation view, 2024. (Front gallery view. Thirteen similar textile and elastic band sculptures are shown hanging on the wall. The sculptures are all made in the same process—similar to how fabric is prepared for tie-dying—but each is unique in color and shape. The sculptures are hung at different heights in a salon-like arrangement.)
Veronica Ryan, installation view, 2024.

Elemental processes such as tying, binding, staining and stacking are prevalent throughout Veronica Ryan’s work. She deploys these techniques with intense sensitivity as a kind of reckoning or discovery. In these wall-based sculptural works – which sit somewhere between textile, relief, sculpture and painting – pillowcases are tie-dyed and then twisted and bunched with coloured hair bobbles. It creates an object rich with associations to the body, to states of rest, sleep, dream and reverie, as well as the daily rituals and complex cultural signifiers of clothing, care, grooming and hair styling.

In the early 1980s Ryan spent time in Nigeria and became fascinated with how meaning could be wrested from the raw materials of life. It was here that she first witnessed votive objects being fashioned from everyday materials – hair, eggs, chalk and kola nuts – and became fascinated by the way they were invested, through ritual, with a spiritual power, used for psychic defence, personal care, mystical healing or for honouring ancestors.

Read the rest of the press release here.

This exhibition has been organised by Camden Art Centre, London, and all of the works have been generously donated by Veronica Ryan to be sold in benefit of their charitable mission. All of the proceeds will go directly toward supporting Camden Art Centre’s internationally renowned exhibition, residency and learning programmes.

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