2017 Spectrum Acquisition: Wayne White
This year, we are excited to acquire works by Chattanooga native Wayne White, the artist featured in the museum’s current special exhibition Thrill After Thrill: 30 Years of Wayne White.
In the last two decades, White’s inventive wit has come alive with larger than life puppets, tongue-in-cheek paintings and fantastical sculptures, all informed by his love of language, storytelling, history, and humor. In considering White’s various series, we decided on two related works, each called Puppet Studio. While also a cartoonist, painter, and sculptor, White has long been fascinated by puppetry and his work as a puppeteer and set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse earned him three Emmys and opened the door to other projects. The two Puppet Studio works we would like to acquire combine Wayne’s love of puppetry, painting, sculpture, and design. They also exhibit his energetic, all-over drawing and painting style.
The Puppet Studio work on paper is a collage, bringing together frenetic drawings with bits of cardboard which are leftovers from his massive sculptures. The second Puppet Studio is a painting harkening back to White’s training as an Abstract Expressionist painter, with its gestural marks and stream of consciousness approach. Hands, eyes, and arms dance across the canvas, referencing both the artist’s love of Cubism and the actual sculptures he has built.