Monday, April 16, 2012

Murielle White at BCC

When Your Light Shines Through - 2012 Oil and mixed media on canvas54" x 48"
My art review repost from a show in February 2012

The transnational artist Murielle White is exhibiting her new body of work at the Brookhaven Community College Forum Gallery. Much like most of the community colleges in DFW, Brookhaven provides a space for artists to test their work in a gallery setting.

White is well tested as an artist. In 2010, her upstairs show at 500X was a triumph of epic proportion. I have never seen a show in their upstairs space that simply owned the walls with energy and painting skills. She was picked up by a great gallery, Cris Worley Fine Arts, and White has been part of several group shows ever since the gallery opened. Brookhaven is like a prologue to White’s upcoming solo show at Cris Worley, so I feel that I am getting a little sneak peek at what is about to come later this year.

Her paintings are about her global experience as an artist. She layers her paint on the canvas like a historian lays stories upon time. Each symbol and shape is an important part of her personal narrative. With four grandparents from four different French colonies, White has a personal cultural experience that is global in scale. Each painting contains language, cultural objects and patterns, from her family and personal experiences. I think collage elements, abstract layering, and the layering of symbols act as memories or graffiti that cover parts of her past and creates new connections though a single painting. In particular, the symbol of the elephant has appeared prominently in some of her new work. This iconic image is painted on a graphic like line painting or silhouette. For me, White is representing the shadows of information she has gained from her grandparents experiences. Like everyone, she can only abstractly drive images from someone else's experiences.

The surface of her paintings are worth experiencing in person. There is a mixture of thick and thin that shows White attacking the canvas surface like an Abstract Expressionist pro, but unlike those transcendental/spiritual painters, White is more down to earth. Each stroke is meaningfully connected to the past. I have also noticed White has become more of a maximalist in the use of her space. She is packing in more and more shapes and brush work and allowing less minimal space. This makes for active compositions that keep my attention.

An artist that goes beyond the ideas of East and West, Murielle White paints the world of experiences on canvas. I encourage you to see the work for yourself at Brookhaven Community College Forum Gallery. The show runs until March 3rd.
More images of the show at

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