New York

Wayne White


Wayne White’s New York debut, “I’m Not Going Around Advertising Surrealism,” is, of course, nothing less than surreal. What else could be invoked by gaudily framed seascapes and woodland glades interrupted by processions of giant words in dropped-out block capitals? In one of the nine canvases here, the phrase HONEST ARTISTS floats like a barge along a river; in another, a row of tall, narrow, rainbow-hued letters reading NASCAR TIT SHIRT bisects an autumnal forest clearing. A third message is less subtle: Cutting across an image of a gently flowing stream amid oak trees is the sentence I’LL SMASH THIS PAINTING OVER YOUR FUCKING HEAD. Yikes.

White’s sensibility is as close to Ed Ruscha’s (who looked pretty closely at Surrealism himself) as it is to Salvador Dalí’s; it is impossible not to be reminded here of Ruscha’s wry paintings of snowcapped mountains with slangy phrases and the names

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