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Whiting Tennis, Bitter Lake Compound

Whiting TennisBitter Lake Compound (2008), acrylic and collage on canvas [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Jan 18-Mar 23] Collection of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Whiting Tennis: My Side of the Mountain

Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Salem OR – Jan 18-Mar 23, 2014

Whiting Tennis, Skipper

Whiting Tennis, Skipper (2013), acrylic on panel [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Jan 18-Mar 23] Collection of Grady West, Seattle WA


Whiting Tennis, White Nun

Whiting Tennis, White Nun (2006), lumber, plywood, paint and asphalt [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Jan 18-Mar 23] Courtesy of the artist and the Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, Washington


This mid-career survey includes works from the last 10 years of Whiting Tennis’s artistic practice, which includes painting, sculpture, drawing and collage. This nationally recognized, Seattle-based artist is largely inspired by time-worn commonplace things, finding beauty in what is often overlooked. In turn, his work recalls so much that is familiar. Among the personal narrative of his art are weathered architectural forms, lost or forgotten objects, renderings of tree bark textures and the moody aesthetic of regional landscapes and environments.

With a sense of empathy for inert objects, Tennis responds strongly to the detritus of life. In his sculptures, which range from abstract and surreal to formal and representational, he embraces used materials (such as old plywood) for their embedded histories and individual particularities. To these he gives quiet voice in his thought-provoking pieces.

Tennis’s paintings and collages highlight an interplay of nature and structure. His depictions of quirky buildings and invented cubic forms also carry a sense of history. They look lonely, like buildings long abandoned. His haunting sculptures seem to have emerged from one of his paintings. In both painting and sculpture, Tennis’s architectural figures take on a personality of sorts, functioning as empty characters (as suggested in White Nun, Mastodon and other titles). Ultimately, we recognize Tennis’s as a very personal lens through which to filter a world of accumulation, excess and decay as these are experienced in urban and rural America.

willamette.edu/arts/hfma

Allyn Cantor











Whiting Tennis, Mastodon

Whiting TennisMastodon (2010), acrylic & collage on canvas [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Jan 18-Mar 23] Collection of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon


 Thu, Feb 6, 2014