November 15, 2019 – January 2, 2020
Roll Up Project is pleased to present paintings and works on paper by Tom White. His recent work – collectively referred to as butohdrawing – combines aspects of drawing, painting, movement, video, and performance. White draws inspiration from Butoh, the avant-garde Japanese dance theater style that incorporates a wide range of dance and movements. In Butoh, performers are often pushed to physical limits as they express the concept of “control vs. un-control.” The performances are staged in unconventional environments that reflect the human condition.
White incorporates aspects of Butoh into his work in many ways, including the use of expressive brushwork, a contrast of textures, and the exploration of control and spontaneity. The faces he depicts are twisted into expressive, yet mask-like, expressions, which could be inspired by Butoh masks. White’s blog documents his ongoing investigation into movement and the act of making artwork.
The Harrison Street window features several works on paper and paintings, arranged as a glimpse into the artist’s studio. The installation includes many noteworthy pieces, including Boogie Woogie, a 12-part installation featuring geometric shapes and short lines; Boxer, an energetic abstraction of a boxer punching, set against a bold red background; De Stijl, a geometric painting in red, yellow, blue and black, propped up on antique column bases; and two open notebooks.
Monotypes on nautical maps fill the Roll Up Project’s Third Street windows. They feature faces and references to Jingletown, the Oakland neighborhood White has called home for over 30 years. Text such as “My heart stays in JingleTown” contrasts with a nearby work that reads “et ne nos inducos en tentationem” (and lead us not into Temptation). Collectively, the artworks reflect on the neighborhood and being part of a community.
About the Artist
Tom White is a multimedia artist based in Oakland, CA. Mr. White earned his BA/BFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and his MA/MFA from U.C. Berkeley. Since 1997, Mr. White has collaborated with artists in the USA, Mexico, Cyprus, China and Spain developing butohdrawing, a multimedia approach to making art that incorporates a strict visual focus inducing a peripheral experience which informs the act of creating a work of art.
Learn more about his work at https://butohdrawing.blogspot.com/