I gave her a pink bandana. She carried it with her and when the seat of her bike started to tear, she used it to cover the seat. I guess it’s safe to say that Pink Seat is also the story of a gift.
--Rafael Sánchez in conversation with Conrad Ventur, April 2016
Martos Gallery is pleased to present A Year of Firsts, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with The Estate of Kathleen White. White’s practice was in many ways about “the story of a gift.” Before passing away in 2014, much of her work was in response to her love for the family of friends she surrounded herself with; a kind of aesthetics of care.
These intimate narratives take the form of drawing, painting, sculpture, and performance. Never simply an outside observer, White used her love for others as well as her own reality—happiness, grief, love, sadness—to expose other people to something beautiful. Tragedy and loss became ever-present in White’s life. The title work of this exhibition, A Year of Firsts, 2001, is an installation of 40 works on paper that circles the entire gallery. It can be read like a book, or more accurately a diary and unique system of language, as it takes you through White’s year after; year after her father’s death, her brother’s death, her sister’s death, and the many friends that were lost to AIDS. Anchoring the gallery entrance are two small cars made of Sculptamold and oil paint. White made hundreds of these cars, in different sizes and colors. They were, for White, vessels for fantasy, adventures, good and bad fortune. The final component is a performance The Spark Between L And D, 1988, which plays on four screens in the middle of the gallery. Wearing a nurse’s uniform covered with flags from around the world, White first beats herself up then licks the blood off of her fingers before bandaging herself up, almost mummy-like, the whole time singing “On Broadway” until she is so bound, she can no longer make a sound.
This exhibition runs concurrently with "Kathleen White: Spirits of Manhattan," and "Nan Goldin: Kathleen,” two exhibitions at Pioneer Works, NY.
Martos Gallery represents The Estate of Kathleen White & The Sánchez-White Archives.
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Kathleen White (b. 1960, Fall River, MA, d. 2014, New York, NY) was a multi-media artist who lived and worked in New York, NY. She received a B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA. Selected exhibitions include: A Year of Firsts, Martos Gallery, NY; Spirits of Manhattan, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY; The Spark Between L And D, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY; Medication Reminder, Hunter Reynolds, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY; Sound Texts (performance), Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY; (a) Rake’s Progress, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY; Devotion, Participant Inc., New York, NY; Millenium Magazines, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The (S) Files, El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; BRIC Rotunda, Brooklyn, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Times Square Alliance, New York, NY; 103rd St Community Garden, New York, NY; The Name of this Show is Not: Gay Art Now (curated by Jack Pierson), Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY. She frequently collaborated with her longtime partner, Rafael Sánchez, on projects such as Somewhat Portable Dolmen, alLuPiNiT, and Table. The Estate of Kathleen White & the Sánchez-White Archives are represented by Martos Gallery, NY.