Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meet yer Maykr: Marc Willhite

Buddy and collaborator of mine, Marc Willhite, will be kicking off the 2011 exhibition schedule at Ironton in Denver on January 14 with an exhibit of new work entitled Soft Descriptions which will run through February 19.

I snapped some photos on my visit to Marc's studio back in November 2009. I returned again in August of this year when I was able to see some candidates for the Soft Descriptions show in their nascent state.

work table
Over the years, I've looked at Marc as a metric against which I've measured my own development.
Marc and I met in our Freshman year of college. We had a drawing class together. Out paths diverted when I left college after Sophomore year.  He finished and went on to get his MFA while I did what I did - which was bot get an MFA.  Or a BFA for that matter.  We met up again a few years after college.  Though our approaches and experiences had evolved differently, a root commonality we shared from those early days allowed each of us to serve as a calibrated voice of critique for the work of the other.  I think this quality in our interactions has continued lo these many years.  The differences in process/practice we exhibit are clear indications of the divergence of our developmental experiences .  Marc is more conceptually and intellectually grounded than am I.  I get the ideas (eventually,) and I can get excited about them, but my response always comes, initially, viscerally.  (If my gizzard could read and reason, I could be unstoppable.) That said, his work at its base is also driven by intuition and it's often inventive.

pattern, color form.

a couple of works on canvas
Marc now has a website of his work at
In 2007 Marc and I collaborated to create the In the Spirit of the Text exhibit at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center in Greenwood Village, CO.
In 2008 Marc had an exhibit at Pirate in Denver.  I posted some exhibition installation shots here.
In 2009 Marc created a work for kork in Poughkeepsie, NY.

In the foreground, you can see Marc's Dec 13th contribution to the 2009 kork Advent project.

collages on interior shots from magazines

Drape, 2005, scotch tape. at Echo
Marc's contribution to the 2005 installment of the Windows on Main St. Exhibit here in Beacon, NY

 Shots from 2010 studio visit:

mylar tape on wall

susan sontag

Here's the press release for the exhibit:

“Soft Descriptions” is Marc Willhiteʼs first solo exhibition at Ironton Studios. The work in
the exhibit is text-based and features a wide range of materials including etched glass,
neon, translucent push pins, oil on linen, latex on panel, ink jet prints, spray paint on
paper and direct carving into the gallery walls. The scale of the work varies from
discreet works of sixteen square inches to floor-to-ceiling, wall-size installation. It is a
formal exploration of the ways words exist, particularly in relation to how we visualize
and use them: a collection of textual depictions, “portraits” of words, terms and phrases.

The work for this exhibition is primarily rooted in Willhiteʼs interest in language. From
the artistʼs statement:
“Language is not so absurd, though our use of it often is. We are regularly
constructing realities incongruent with our experience. This project embraces this
characteristic aspect of our use of language (along with the reality that words are
subject to misunderstandings and misconceptions) and explores the arbitrary nature,
excessive possibilities and inevitable shortcomings of textual description.”

Willhite is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Denver, CO. He has an MFA in
painting and drawing and an art history minor from the University of Minnesota, Twin-
Cities and a BFA from Colorado State University with a double concentration in painting
and drawing. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, been included in various
publications and maintains a collaborative practice with several artists working around
the U.S.