Russo Lee Gallery is thrilled to exhibit Studio by Whiting Tennis for the month of April. Based in Seattle, Tennis is known for working in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, collage, installation, set design, public art, and musical performance. While loosely referencing wood, architecture, and structure, his compositions avoid settling into one style or meaning. This exhibition, referencing a Modernist vibe, features small works on paper and mid-size paintings and collages. There is also a new, large-scale mixed media work titled Studio Wall, from which the show takes its title. Whiting Tennis received a BFA from the University of Washington. He is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery of Seattle and Derek Eller Gallery in New York City.
This exhibition is a survey of works from a few years old to brand new. Most of the paintings are derived from drawings and collage, which are themselves generated in the “automatic” mode. Popularized by the surrealists of the early 20th century, this is the experimental practice of releasing control of the drawing implement and allowing, as much as possible, the image to draw itself. My experience with it has inspired a much less skeptical view of the realm of the subconscious. If an inanimate object can be said to have power, its source must be within ourselves. What we bring, what we imagine, what we project, reflects back onto us in waves of awe and desire. Art flows from and within this mysterious rapport and its voice is accumulative; art consumed and forgotten creating the ingredients for more art. My work addresses this idea by drawing, literally and figuratively from where these expired images go to rest and attempts to connect with all that is latent or buried within us.
The title of the show is intentionally generic, but hopefully in a positive way, expressing my affection for the place where artists go to make their work and follow the paths that the room, the routine, and the materials create.