White curated by Colin Darke2018 / exhibition / members' show / year
2nd – 22nd February 2018
White was the fourth and final exhibition showing the work of QSS studio artists, curated by artist Colin Darke. It was preceded by Unafraid Red, Unafraid Yellow and Unafraid Blue. In western tradition, white is, of course, associated with purity, in the garments of both the bride and of Jesus. The white lily is a symbol of Mary and the white dove of the Holy Spirit. In parts of the far east and Africa, as well as medieval Europe, however, it is the colour of mourning, the preponderance of light replacing its absence.
The white flag signifies surrender or truce and is thus a recognisable symbol of peace (though during the Bourbon restoration of 1818-1830, it was the colour of the French national flag). The sculptural tradition of carving marble in its flawless whiteness derives from our love of the loss of pigment from brightly-painted classical sculptures – an aesthetic with its origins in a misconception.
In twentieth-century modernism, white played a significant role in the origins and developments of non-figuration, important for new “purity” or “nothingness” in, for example, Malevich, Lissitsky (famously representing the counterrevolutionary white armies), Kandinsky, Mondrian, Hepworth, Kline, Riley and Ryman, for whom white is the primary determining characteristic.
The artists in White incorporated whiteness in a number of directions, both formal and conceptual.
Image: Courtesy of the Golden Thread Gallery, photograph by Simon Mills.