Prolific Omaha artist Watie White, best known and seen of late via his area murals and community public art projects, will be featured this month in a solo exhibition in the Garden of the Zodiac in the Old Market Passageway.
Organized by the Moving Gallery, White’s first solo in the region in nearly four years, opens with an artist reception and talk, Jan. 19, from 7-9 p.m. and continues until Mar. 19.
The exhibition of this painter, printer and narrative artist will include three bodies of work, the majority a mix of both current and past work never before seen in Omaha.
The first set are of linocuts which White did while an artist in residence at Kanaal 10 in Amsterdam. While in residence, the artist walked a version of “the grand tour” that used to be popular in another century, making preliminary drawings and searching for stories within the city. The prints which came from these are all cityscapes and portraits, which have narratives embedded within them.
The second body of work are “the omval”, White’s popular large woodcuts which have overtly bawdy, humorous narratives placed within highly detailed landscapes. The third body of work, his ambitious “Stolen” series, are large, absurdist narrative portrait paintings that he has added to for the past 15 years.
The “Stolen” subjects are all personal friends embedded in a masterpiece painting of their choice that White has modified to combine qualities and themes of the original with that of his model’s personality, character and life.
“While they come to the studio and model in person for drawings, we discuss in detail how the ideas in the painting resonate with them,” White said, “how those ideas have played out in their life.
“Then I try to incorporate as many of these anecdotes into the painting, while casting the model again and again. They feel super indulgent and outrageously fun to make, and wind up describing not only the likeness of the model, but a great deal of the flavor of my relationship with them.”
Watie White solo exhibit opens Jan. 19, 2017, 7-9 p.m. and continues till Mar. 19
in the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery in the Old Market Passageway. For details and hours, call (402) 341-1877 or go to facebook.com.