Nancy White at Jancar Jones

Nancy White, #10 (Green Yellow), 2011 | Acrylic on paper mounted board, 9 x 7.5 inches. Courtesy Jancar Jones Gallery, San Francisco.

Tucked into the back of a building that used to be the San Francisco Casket Company on Mission Street, Jancar Jones Gallery provides an intimate viewing space for Nancy White’s small works. The postcard-sized paintings by White, who was featured in editions #73 and #55 of New American Paintings, stud the walls of Jancar Jones like gems. Indeed, the intimately small works are jewel toned, and the first thought the angular lines within the monochromatic pieces conjure is that of cut gemstones.

The three-dimensional aspects invoke a visual element similar to facets, or the flat faces in geometric shapes on gemstones which create the light-reflecting surfaces that allow them to sparkle. That said, White’s paintings are made using matte paint, and are a continuation of her experimentations with painting and surface texture. Her recent work falls into two categories: work on steel and work on paper. The Jancar Jones show is composed entirely of the latter, but speaks to the hard-edges, angularity, and three-dimensionality of her steel pieces.  —Nadiah Fellah, San Francisco contributor

Installation view, Nancy White at Jancar Jones Gallery, San Francisco

When combined with their intimate scale, the minimalist presentation of her works draws the viewer close to each painting, and White's bare-bones installation is one of the most austere presentations ever done at the San Francisco gallery. Comparable only to White’s last show in 2009, which was composed entirely of painted works on steel—which featured works just as small, also casting playful shadow abstractions in the space surrounding them—her current show has taken that idea and fixed it within a two-dimensional image, adding a wonderfully sensuous color. This modestly sized but holistic show is well worth the trip to Jancar Jones this month, if only to spend a few private moments with some strikingly intricate works.

Nancy White. TOP: #6 (Red Pink), 2011 | Acrylic on paper mounted board, 6.6 x 9.5 inches. BOTTOM: Installation view, #7 (Orange), 2011 | Acrylic on paper mounted board, 7.75 x 7.5 inches. Courtesy Jancar Jones Gallery, San Francisco.


Nadiah Fellah is a curatorial assistant at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

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