Whiting Tennis

Traver Sutton Gallery

Whiting Tennis wants to know how culture operates. In this, his second major series of work, he looks to the fickle world of fashion for clues. His surface is wood, his media are oil and woodblock print. The oils transcribe images of models’ faces and bodies from Vogue and Mademoiselle directly onto the wood; counterimages of schematic female forms and other shapes are gouged into the wood. Two pictured ideas are thus combined into one unassimilated whole. Tattooed into the smart dress of a walking woman is a torso outline, filled with gold leaf (Ritual Vessel, 1988); a bunched skeleton gravens the stylish jacket of a turning woman (Untitled, 1988); a red gown asserts itself before an etched body, fading into the wallpaper (Easter Dress, 1988). The eternal female of the fashion world is recognized as an empty center, a fixture, contrived to mean nothing.

The superimposition, for Tennis, is

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.