Category Archives: Exhibition

Happiness Project

Happiness Project by Didi Dunphy is a critical examination of high design via commodification, craft and fantasy. Her emphasis lies within the making of each piece, the things unseen.

QVC, a startling collection of photographs of gorgeous rings displayed against pink backgrounds with doily-like borders, is a fantastical exploration of the commodity.  Despite the piece’s obvious allusion to QVC, the shopping TV channel, the images cite more than simply online shopping desires. The depictions of individual rings draw attention not only to their own intricacies and precious stones, but to the human hand, the wearer, the individual behind the jewelry. Though none of the images acknowledge in any way, other than that they are objects for hands themselves, the wearer or the individual, their congruence along an entire wall of whitespace paints a portrait of ownership. QVC is a portrait, perhaps not of any one specific individual, but of the nature of the commodity itself. Rings are objects of personal augmentation, and though they are mere objects, there is a story behind the acquisition of each one. In displaying images of jewelry meant to be worn, what is unseen is precisely what is emphasized, in this case, humanity and its relationship to the commodity.  In QVC, the viewer is presented only with the rings themselves, left to wonder about the rest, the story, the history. The viewer must discern information from the presentation of each individual ring in order to come to a conclusion, or simply enjoy the pieces as commodities themselves.

Not only do these rings cite the luxury of owning such objects, but other pieces, like Industrial Emoticon tip their caps, so to speak, to the banal. Dunphy, of course, in her project elevates these commonplace, albeit elegant, items to the lavish and fantastical. Industrial Emoticon alludes to the iconic 1960’s Arco lamp, a lavish commodity for any home during its peak of popularity. The overblown happy face, clouds and heart cut from plexiglass alter the iconic images of the Arco towards the fanciful and imaginative, taking high design to a place of play and visual communication. The bright colors and overblown qualities cite artists like Jeff Koons. Through Dunphy’s attention to popular culture depictions of emoticons and her alteration of the Arco, the banal is transformed into the unique, shiny and effervescent. Here, Dunphy has elevated previous conceptions of luxury objects to pop culture expressions of emotion. Alluding to the emoji, an emoticon used for expression, Dunphy juxtaposes the classic and iconic with the contemporary and technological.

Dunphy_CampfireDidi Dunphy, Campfire, 24 x 36 inches, lambda print on fuji flex mounted on plexi

Other designs similarly reference iconic objects and images. Hanging Garden mirrors a 70s shell lamp or night club curtains. All the Things I Can’t Live Without: Nails depicts images of Piet Mondrian’s Compositions with Red, Blue and Yellow, accomplishing similar messages of commodifying high art. Other acrylic nails depict images of hello kitty, clouds, colorful squares and flowers. These images, like QVC cite the hand, the individual behind each set of nails. Compared to Dunphy’s five intricately embroidered pieces, all place an emphasis on color, its brightness and shine, as well as handiwork, the work of craft. Both acrylic nail painting and embroidery are typically female gendered crafts and both represent objects acquired out of luxury or excess. Both reference the individual behind the work, the person who accomplished the project.

Several other pieces depict images of campfires, from sketches with smoke crafted from brightly colored and holographic teacher’s pet stickers, to a large hot-pink plexiglass print of woven colorful lanyards to Dunphy’s pink Donald Judd-like sculpture depicted below. These images reference the joys of childhood, the simplicity of that childhood happiness and the escape of camp. Placed next to Faerie Ring, photographs of faerie circle mushrooms, works like Picket, a fluorescent aluminum 8-foot propped fence and Twins, two chain link and picket fence tiaras, similarly to All the Things I Can’t Live Without: Nails, take part in depicting the other side of luxury, the hard work behind the exquisite. In some way, all of Dunphy’s work cites the excess of high design and extravagant living, and yet also references hard work, the skill of craft and the conceptual elements behind these facades of brightly colored, shiny beauty. Dunphy’s conceptual work is illuminated in this space between craft and luxury. Her attention to the intersections between design, pop culture, feminity, fantasy, and the unseen, are truly what make Happiness Project, an examination of much more than the objects themselves, but the conceptual as well. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.48.57 AM

Didi Dunphy, Fire Logs, size variable, wood, airbrushed paint

Written by: Hilleary Gramling

Abstraction Today

The exhibition, Abstraction Today, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) opened Friday night at 6:30 p.m. The most prestigious and prominent art galleries in Atlanta compiled the artists’ works and the opening was filled with guests, a bar and merriment. Whitespace had the honor of participating in this collaboration with Alan Avery Art Company, Marcia Wood Gallery, Mason Fine Art, Sandler Hudson Gallery and {Poem 88}. With pieces from Pete Schulte, Ann Stewart, Bojana Ginn, Eric Mack and Seana Reilly, whitespace’s artists augmented the exhibition incredibly from wall paintings to 3D printed objects to sculpture. In conjunction with other artistic selections, the show was a congruent and diverse examination of what abstract art is in today’s contemporary world.

Though each artist presented their own negotiations of what it means to be abstract, the entire collection of art offered an exceptionally harmonious exhibition. whitespace artists in particular not only showed work that charged the white walls of MOCA GA, but also formed a coherent representation of the free-expression, intimacy, dialogue, and immersive environment whitespace strives to represent. The looming grace of Schulte’s wall painting alone overwhelmed the northern wall of one room, but reflected against the colorful and overwhelming wall work of Hense, added great contrast to envelop the night’s crowd.

IMG_8082Dark Day (Revelator Pt. 2), Pete Schulte, 2016

In a smaller room to the side, an installed projector and sculpture made of straws, paint and cotton by Ginn mirrored the pixelated, almost urban abstract landscape of Mack’s multi-medium work. Beautifully and breathtaking, Stewart’s 3D printed objects cast long and opaque shadows against the white walls of the space as one of the first works in view of the entrance of the exhibition. Across from Stewart, Susannah Starr’s large floral and vibrant neon cut-outs refracted the light via their own technique, presenting a delightful juxtaposition of shadow play for Stewart’s objects. And Reilly’s floor to ceiling canvases overwhelmed what was left of the room with their ombre and bleak exploration of gradient and texture.

Diamagnetic Liaison, Ann Stewart, 2016

What was best about Abstraction Today was the physical manifestation of the diversity and talent that can be found in Atlanta. Each artist’s work illuminated an aspect of its neighboring pieces and vice versa. The space was filled with detailed conversation, immense artistic exploration and wonder. The exhibition’s navigation of what it means to be abstract is a testament to the greatness of today’s contemporary art, not only in the world, but right here in Atlanta. From modern advances in technology, projection and 3D printing, to wall-painting, traditional sculpture and manipulation of found objects, the exhibition is a beautiful tapestry woven by the many threads of experimentation, risk, exploration and abstraction today.

Written by: Hilleary Gramling

Nocturne: Myth, Magic and Decay

Wendy Given and Ryan Pierce have collaborated to present a variety of new sculptures, paintings, drawings and photographs drawn from the intersection of their creative visions: the nocturnal, the nonhuman, and the wildness that resides in each of us. Nocturne presents an otherworldly collection of natural, surreal, mysterious and awe-inspiring work that draws the viewer into a mode of processing and understanding nature, folklore, myth and mystery.

Given-Of_the_Garden_VitisWendy Given, Of the Garden: Vitis, 2014, 40″ x 40″, c-print, edition 1/3

Flowers droop in decay from an upside down sculpted head vase, a white peacock looks over his shoulder surrounded by preserved moss, palm leaves, flowers and ferns, a gilded scythe hangs on the wall inscribed with a prayer to the natural world, a sketched vulture consumes an atrophying human carcass against a dark background, botanical illustrations marry the surreal with the biological, a mirrored octahedron rests in the center of one room, reflecting a photograph of close-up moth fur, beetles consuming grapes, a raven clutching an animal skull in its beak, and a giant chandelier made of peacock feathers.

Given and Pierce’s work suspends time and reality in a meditation on the surreal and the unexamined: a moth rests in a vintage glass box, cameo style images of panthers atop pine trees and mystical forces of the night hang on the wall, and a painted rendition of a glass box broken at the base of a trickling creek overwhelms part of the room. The folk art-feel of the exhibition illicits a sense of dread, that reality is centered in myth, that decay and death are all around us, that we are uncertain. Both rooms in whitespace’s gallery have their own essence of the natural. One is a space of observation and mystifying beauty of the preserved. The other feels vintage and antique, featuring the kinds of artifacts one may find in a grandmother’s attic.

The universal message of this collaboration is one of appreciation, examination and presentation. The appreciation of the natural world in all its elements, plants, moths, a coiled white snake, a white peacock, panthers; an examination of life and a collective consciousness surrounding the natural, mortality, the circle of life; and a presentation of nature’s cruel and yet, just forces.

ark_webtwoDetail, Ryan Pierce, Chance Arc, 2012, 72″ x 47″, Flashe on canvas over panel

Given and Pierce’s collection is one of the beauty found in the forgotten and the unobserved, but also a confrontation. We, as humans, are all dependent on the natural world, and yet, we are responsible for its desecration.

Written by: Hilleary Gramling

Take a Look: “Under the Rainbow” new works by Ann-Marie Manker

Here’s a look at the pieces in Under the Rainbow, new works by Ann-Marie Manker.  Feel free to contact us at with questions and inquiries.



Acrylic, graphite, ink, varnish on wood panel
14” x 18” x 2”
SOLD Continue reading

Fresh Paint: Sarah Emerson Creates New Mural at MOCA in Jacksonville

Sarah Emerson’s latest creation in her Underland series is underway in the form of a large mural adorning three walls of the Haskell Atrium Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida.  The project will be Continue reading

"Seepages" curated by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel

On June 25th, our next exhibit Seepages will open. Curated by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Seepages is a collaborative project by artists whose works are a response to inhabiting and navigating contemporary urban and suburban environments. Their work explores the idea that urban, suburban, and natural realms are not separate entities, but rather permeable, fluid spaces that connect and seep into each other.

Participating Artists: Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Arden Bendler Browning, Van Stiefel, Thomas Vance, John Otte, Kate Stewart & Ward Davenny.

Exhibit Dates: June 25-July 31
Opening Reception: Friday, June 25 | 7 – 10 
Conversation with the Artists: Saturday, June 26th @ 3pm

 Made of textiles, crafts, and recyclables, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel’s sculptural installations reference both man-made and natural elements. Allusions to architectural forms, chain link fences, plumbing fixtures, fungi, and stalactites cover, divide, encircle, and fill the spaces in which they are situated.  For her sculptural installation Hinterland, Caroline collaborated with her husband Van Stiefel, who has created an accompanying sound installation. Mixed with musical elements and computer-generated sound, Van Stiefel’s sound installations consist of processed recordings made in and around their Pennsylvanian home. 

“Ambient sounds recorded in and around our suburban home (birds, ice melting, neighbors grilling, distant motors) are blended with real time audio processing of the original recordings in eight channels. The computer shifts the various sounds among eight car speakers placed within the sculpture, exploring realistic/illusionistic representations of space.” (Van Stiefel)

Thomas Vance, “Untitled”, pencil/colored pencil on graph paper, 15 5/16″ x 9 3/16″, 2010.


Arden Bendler Browning’s daily travels through Philadelphia’s “dichotomous landscape” strongly inform her multi-perspective images, which include both small drawings on paper and wall-sized paintings on tyvek.

Arden Bendler Browning, “Rubble”, drawing on paper, 15″ x 22″, 2009.

John Otte’s finely textured mixed media paintings and collages suggest devastated abstract landscapes that are both elegiac and highly-charged.

John Otte, “Sugar & Shit”, collage, 11″ x 17″, 2009.

Kate Stewart’s paintings explore notions of shelter and escape in response to both real and contrived man-made catastrophes and natural disasters.

Kate Stewart, “Lawncare Vortex”,
acrylic & mica powder on paper,
24″ x 18″, 2010.

For Seepages, Kate Stewart has also collaborated with artist Ward Davenny to create a large-scale painting utilizing paint and soot. (Image Left: Davenny in action “smoking” the canvas.)

Ward Davenny, “Reclaimed Landfill”, charcoal on paper, 12.5″ x 16.5″, 2010.

Three Sisters: Opening Reception 2.26.2010

3 sisters. 3 artists. 3 diverse works on paper
ZHANG: Ling. Bo. Hong
February 26 – April 3, 2010
Thank you all to those who joined us for the opening of our new exhibition by Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang. It was wonderful to have all three sisters in Atlanta. Our special appreciation goes to Cathy Yi He for her exquisite performance of the Guzheng!