in New York, NY / United States
14.12.2017 - 27.01.2018 00:00
Kathleen White - A Year of Firsts

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 Venture, 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, 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.

Gallery hours Tues-Sun 10 am – 6 pm


Martos Gallery
41 Elizabeth Street
10013 New York, NY
United States


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