3 new exhibitions open until May 15, 2021
White Columns

Three new exhibitions now open.
March 23 – May 15, 2021

Gerald Jackson

Project: Matthew Schrader
M. Obultra 3

White Room: Daisy May Sheff
A Mountain Girl with Skyblue Teeth

Gallery interior with a white column. Three wall-mounted mixed media collages and three clothed mannequins are visible.
Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021. Photo: Marc Tatti

Gerald Jackson

White Columns is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Gerald Jackson (b. 1936, Chicago.) This will be the second in a series of three recent and related exhibitions that will consider different aspects of Jackson’s prolific, now six-decade career as a multi-disciplinary artist and poet. (The first of these exhibitions took place at Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba House, New York between November and January 2020/21. A third exhibition will take place this coming November at Gordon Robichaux, New York.)

Jackson’s exhibition at Kenkeleba House was a “comprehensive gathering” of his abstract ‘blue green’ paintings produced between 1980 and the present. Jackson’s preoccupation with blue and green represents a continuing “examination of color relationships and their effects on the observer.” The press release for the Kenkeleba exhibition suggested: “In what could be viewed as a meditative exercise, it is Jackson’s intent to heal using the curative properties of blue green.” Jackson’s exhibition at White Columns further explores and amplifies his ongoing interest in color and our social, emotional and psychological relationships with color in a series of large-scale text drawings and a group of related collage works produced over the past few years. Alongside these works Jackson will present a group of his functional clothing works, outfits designed, made and (for the most part) worn by Jackson. Jackson’s work in fashion was adroitly described in 2003 by the art dealer Jack Tilton as “chop and paste clothing” and as “totally brilliant three dimensional funk.”

In his recent text drawings on view at White Columns, words denoting specific colors (e.g. ‘BLACK’, ‘WHITE’, ‘BLUE’, ‘GREEN’ etc.) are written on sheets of 11” x 8 ½” typing paper that are then attached and arranged into grid-like formations and structures. Suggesting a kind of language-based abstraction, or perhaps a textual description of an abstract ‘image’, Jackson’s staccato-like drawings oscillate between a form of concrete poetry and something closer to a musical or lyrical score. (One work reads: “BLACK / WHITE / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / BLACK.”) In his recent figurative collage works, from the ongoing series Divine Providence, aspects of Jackson’s biography – including self-portrait images – are juxtaposed with his own writings and poetry, found images and symbols, and occasional fragments of musical scores: including both Mozart’s and Ornette Coleman’s. (Jackson had a solo exhibition in 1974 at his friend Ornette Coleman’s space Artists House at 131 Prince Street, New York.) In two recent visceral drawing works Jackson has detourned the iconic image of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, effectively erasing the central figure with charcoal and oil stick.

Gerald Jackson (b. 1936, Chicago) currently lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. Jackson’s history was outlined in an expansive – and essential – 2012 interview with his friend, the artist Stanley Whitney that was published as a part of BOMB magazine’s ongoing ‘Oral History Project’, which is available on BOMB’s website. After a stint in the army in the early 1960s, where he further developed his skills as a marksman, Jackson relocated from his native Chicago to New York’s Lower East Side, where he encountered and became a part of a community of vanguard artists and jazz musicians centered around Slugs’ Saloon, a now legendary jazz club on East 3rd Street that was active from the mid-1960s to 1972. After earlier studies at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and then later at The Brooklyn Museum School, Jackson started to exhibit his own work from the mid- 1960s onwards and was represented by New York’s Allan Stone Gallery from 1968 to 1990. He has had exhibitions at Strike Gallery, Rush Arts (curated by Jack Tilton), Gallery 128, Tribes, and Wilmer Jennings Gallery-Kenkeleba, among others. His work has been included in a number of key group exhibitions including: ‘Afro-American Artists: New York and Boston’, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1970); ‘Black Artists: Two Generations’, Newark Museum, Newark (1971); ‘Jus’ Jass: Correlations of Painting and Afro-American Classical Music’, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); ‘The Black and White Show’, curated by Lorraine O’Grady, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); ‘Notation on Africanism’, Archibald Arts, New York (1995); ‘Something To Look Forward To’, curated by Bill Hutson, Phillips Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA (2004), and ‘Short Distance To Now – Paintings from New York 1967-1975’, Galerie Thomas Flor, Dusseldorf, Germany (2007), among others. Jackson’s 1973 illustrated artist’s book of seventy-nine linoleum cuts ‘Adventures in Ku-Ta-Ba Wa-Do’ is in the collection of both the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Matthew Schrader, installation view, 2021 (A vitrine display table containing Ailanthus seed pods. Above it 18 wall-mounted photographic prints depicting the Ailanthus tree are visible.)
Matthew Schrader, M. Obultra 3, installation view, 2021. Photo: Marc Tatti

Project: Matthew Schrader
M. Obultra 3

White Columns is pleased to announce a solo presentation by Matthew Schrader. For this presentation Schrader will exhibit materials from a recent project M. Obultra 3 alongside related works.

Published in 2020, and curated by Aaron Gemmill, M. Obultra 3 is an editioned portfolio of new work by Schrader including a hand-printed woodcut, 7 photographs, a painted wooden object, 3 PVC transparencies, and Ailanthus seed pods. The project was born out of Schrader’s ongoing engagement with the Ailanthus tree, commonly known as the Tree Of Heaven. Ubiquitous in many American cities, including Philadelphia where Schrader was born and raised. Ailanthus altissima was introduced to North America by Philadelphian naturalist William Hamilton in 1784. Imported as a decorative plant, it is now considered an invasive species by the United States Department of Agriculture. According to Gemmill: “Schrader’s work is a synthesis of dual meanings of naturalization: how displaced species proliferate in new environments; and the technical and ideological process of rendering social structures invisible.”

For the presentation at White Columns, the work from M. Obultra 3 is activated and spatialized in relation to the specifics of the gallery architecture. Photographs from the edition are repeated across a wall forming a line, their spacing determined by the width of common 2×4 construction lumber that serves as the matrix for the woodblock print and as the primary material of the painted sculptures arranged in stacks on the floor. Ailanthus seeds collected in New York City are displayed in a vitrine.

To accompany the portfolio Schrader commissioned a new work by writer and poet Omar Berrada. Taking the form of a chapbook Berrada’s Clonal Hum is a poem sequence written in conversation with the portfolio. A virtual book launch will be held on April 27th, with readings by Berrada, poet Christian Campbell, author Saretta Morgan, and poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña.

Editions of M. Obultra 3 and copies of Clonal Hum are available for purchase at the gallery, and online at https://obultra.com.

Matthew Schrader (b.1984, Philadelphia) is an artist and educator based in New York City. He received an MFA in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Schrader’s work has appeared in exhibitions at Gertrude, The Abrons Art Center, MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, P!, U.S. Blues, Room East, MoMA PS1, Soloway Gallery, Carl Louie, Regina Rex, Cleopatra’s, 67 Steps, Metropolitan Structures and The Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Western Michigan. Schrader is a recipient of The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in New York City, and is currently teaching at The Cooper Union.

Éditions Michel Obultra is a publisher of artist editions and other objects. This project is run by the artist Aaron Gemmill and based in Philadelphia.

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Nine paintings are installed salon style on a white wall to the right. One large painting is mounted to the wall on the left.
Daisy May Sheff, A Mountain Girl with Skyblue Teeth, installation view, 2021. Photo: Marc Tatti

White Room: Daisy May Sheff
A Mountain Girl with Skyblue Teeth

White Columns is proud to present A Mountain Girl with Skyblue Teeth the debut solo exhibition by the Inverness, CA-based artist Daisy May Sheff.

Sheff’s exhibition comprises a group of fifteen paintings produced over the past year. The exhibition’s title A Mountain Girl with Skyblue Teeth is adapted from the lyrics of Marc Bolan’s pre-Glam era 1969 song ‘Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat)’. In her re-reading of the lyric, Bolan’s original ‘Mountain Man’ has been transformed into Sheff’s ‘Mountain Girl.’

Writing about her approach Sheff has stated: “My paintings offer glimpses into detailed, private narratives. The paintings share the arbitrary laws of fairytales – a world outside of everyday existence with a logic all its own. They are at once sincere and absurd. All these images recall pieces of stories, which I reconfigure, in a search for something essential to emerge. My paintings are occupied with the amoral, the wild, the left-hand path. Content like this is at once beautiful, sinister, comedic, and camp. I explicitly allow random, haphazard content to enter the paintings: cartoons, antiquated expressions, forgotten drawings scratched on a bathroom wall. Nothing in the paintings is sacred – any previous decision is on the table to be sacrificed. There is a tension – a simultaneous resistance and reverence of something perfect, balanced, and beautiful. The bright colors become muddied and undermined by black and gray. At times, what would be negative space is thick and solid or what should be a body is transparent. Heaviness, lightness, foreground, and background are confused. Many of the paintings devolve so much from their origins that they become abstracted. Language I have been developing compulsively for a long time is reduced down sometimes to a color or shape.”

In this stage-like, painterly space Sheff has created an entirely convincing and self-contained aesthetic realm: an imagined territory populated by a shifting cast of her equally convincing characters. Sheff’s unabashed embrace of narrative, the theatrical, and the folkloric resonates within a recent tradition in figurative art, exemplified by such distinct and maverick voices as Kai Althoff, Peter Doig, Ellen Gronemeyer, and Katharina Wulff, among others. Writing about her own – immediate – influences Sheff has expressed a kinship with the post-war Bay Area figurative painters and especially with the late 1960s/early 1970s Northern Californian ‘Nut Art’ group of artists centered around Roy De Forest: with Sheff both drawn to and drawing from their use of humor and their privileging of the absurd and the phantasmagoric.

Daisy May Sheff (b. 1996) received a BFA from UCLA in 2018, where she studied with Silke Otto-Knapp, Lari Pittman, Barbara Kruger, Ruby Neri, and Benjamin Weissman, among others. Her work has been included in a number of group exhibitions since 2014. This is her first solo exhibition. White Columns encountered Sheff’s work in 2020 when she submitted it for consideration to White Columns’ Curated Online Registry. Since her joining the Registry, her work has been included in the recent White Columns Online show, The Void, which is viewable on our website. To learn more about the Curated Online Registry, visit: https://registry.whitecolumns.org

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

White Columns
91 Horatio Street
New York, NY 10014
Tuesday–Saturday, 12–6 PM
info@whitecolumns.org
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