Santa Fe, NM
Mark White Fine Art, July 7-August 26
This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
The theme of Mark White’s new show, My World and Welcome to It, is inspired by his diverse and experimental painting style. White thought the popular book and 1960s television show of the same name mirrored his desire to paint whatever came to mind, giving viewers a peek into his world. The Santa Fe artist displays nearly 40 works of art in his Canyon Road gallery from July 7 to August 26. The opening reception is on Friday, July 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.
White’s rich oils and gentle abstractions on nature convey his views on life through the use of color, visible brush strokes, and varied compositions. This helps the viewer to see the truth of White’s admiration for the Southwest landscape: He paints what inspires him, not just what sells. “I’m fortunate to have my own gallery, so I don’t have to follow particular rules to make a living,” White says.
His koi fish paintings on aluminum, like IN THE FLOW III, are a prime example of his experimental works. White, who also creates kinetic sculpture, started exploring metal painting about 15 years ago, using engraving and rotary tools on the soft metal to create an illusion of three dimensions on extremely thin surfaces. His bold colors are the result of working with bronze for almost 25 years, and he’s since perfected the metal dye and patina combinations in order to apply them much like watercolor washes. “Patinas give me the chance to play with color any way I want to,” he says. “But it’s all about movement. When I can create something on a static surface that reminds me of movement, I feel satisfied.”
For White, becoming a painter was a way to explore relationships between texture and light in union with time and nature. It’s a respite from the world of structure and fixed spaces, especially when he’s painting en plein air at sunrise. “I’m most inspired by the new dawn of the day,” White says. “I see painting as a philosophical pursuit for the meaning of life and understanding of the world around me. I paint in an effort to figure out why I do what I do.” —Katie Askew
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