Lindsey White

2017 SECA Art Award Recipient

  • Artwork image, Lindsey White, Butterfly Mummy, 2016

    Lindsey White, Studio 8, 2016; photo: courtesy the artist

  • Two disembodied hands suspended against a purple background

    Lindsey White, Often Imitated, Never Equaled, 2016; courtesy the artist

  • A man with salt and pepper hair, a mustache, silver bowtie and plaid jacket sits on a stool and laughs with his eyes closed
    Lindsey White, The Animatronic Comedian, 2016; courtesy the artist
  • Lindsey White installation

    Installation view of Lindsey White gallery, 2017 SECA Art Award; courtesy the artist

  • Lindsey White installation

    Installation view of Lindsey White gallery, 2017 SECA Art Award; courtesy the artist

  • Lindsey White installation

    Installation view of Lindsey White gallery, 2017 SECA Art Award; courtesy the artist

  • Lindsey White installation

    Installation view of Lindsey White gallery, 2017 SECA Art Award; courtesy the artist

  • Lindsey White installation

    Installation view of Lindsey White gallery, 2017 SECA Art Award; courtesy the artist

In her enigmatic and slyly humorous works, Lindsey White (b. 1980) explores the aesthetics of stand-up comedy and the related field of magic. Trained as a photographer, she sees comedians and magicians as kindred spirits—similarly sensitive people who notice things that others might overlook and call them to our attention. She’s particularly interested in the difficulties women face in these arenas, which are traditionally dominated by men. In addition to photographs, White creates sculptural objects inspired by everyday items. When remade and decontextualized, these “props,” as White characterizes them, can take on eerily strange or dark tones. Emblazoned with kitschy phrases, they share the theatrical quality inherent to her photographs. When presented together, her works evoke the buzz of anticipation one feels in the moments before the start of a stage performance.


Essay

With a dry wit and a love of stand-up comedy, Lindsey White imports the humor and playfulness of vernacular photography into the realm of fine art.


In Conversation

SFMOMA Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Jenny Gheith interviews Lindsey White in her studio.


Watch

Artist Lindsey White discusses how her sculptures and photographic portraits explore the gender dynamics and psychological mechanisms of stand-up comedy. Often toying with the viewer’s sense of what is and isn’t real, the 2017 SECA Art Award recipient asks what artifice can teach us about the nature of myth and photographic representation.

Exhibition Catalogue

Download a PDF of the exhibition catalogue essay and conversation with the artist.