Wayne White is “Jumping From Ice Floe to Ice Floe”

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Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles // May 18, 2024 – June 08, 2024

Everybody knows Wayne White. Even if you don’t think you know him, you do. Throughout his career, the Chattanooga-born artist has seamlessly transitioned between roles as an artist, designer, and art director, influencing generations of makers—countless movies, television series, and programming blocks can trace thematic or stylistic similarities back to the artist’s prolific output. In his own words, White has spent his career “jumping from ice floe to ice floe” with an urgency and desire to achieve and prove himself—to be the best artist/designer/draftsman in the literal West.

Of note in this exhibition is a brand-new body of work—a painting series. Awash in a muted palette, the mid-size canvases transform into portals, each one revealing a glimpse into a bygone project of White’s. These include PBS’s Mrs. Cabobble’s Caboose and FOE at York College in Pennsylvania. Each project was a spectacular and fleeting moment with only the views from our screens to validate their existence. Here, White’s painting practice loops time back on itself, testing the linear nature of time and treating us to his inspiration and his vision.

Studio Shot by Chloe Rice 4

The acclaimed word paintings resonate as visual poetry, playfully nudging a society that celebrates both sentimentality and snarkiness. In this iteration, both the words and settings come from White himself. The terms are Wayne-isms, a kind of prose that makes you hear the artist’s eastern Tennessee accent that is still with him today. Almost blinding in their riotous shades of apricot and cerulean blue, they feel like joy and celebration. White has almost always included a puppet in his exhibitions and his passion for them continues here. Clad in worn denim overalls with a straw hat and long beard, this hillbilly embodies the rugged spirit of White’s Tennessee roots, casting playful shadows across the gallery floor. White’s penchant for monumental form pays homage to his cubist forebears while his Tennessee roots have given him the belief that one can conquer the West with only his imagination and drive.

In the end, Wayne White’s legacy is not merely one of artistic achievement, but of a lifelong dedication to pushing boundaries, challenging conventions, and inspiring generations to come. With this latest exhibition, Wayne White doesn’t merely revisit the past; he actively reimagines it. His boundless energy and artistic curiosity leave us eager to see where his creative journey takes him next. —Heather Hakimzadeh, Curator

Portrait by Chloe Rice


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