A filigree wallpaper background with a stripe at the bottom. Text overlay reads "False neutral: against minimalism."

Artists: Joey Asal, Itunu Ebijimi, Yvette Mayorga, and Patrick Wilkins. Co-curated with Kevin Whiteneir.

The color white has long held a place of honor within the Western cultural landscape. Perceived as pure, the white cube is often hailed as a “clean” void atop which artwork can be viewed. It is the standard palette across the art world since theorists such as Adolf Loos espoused plain and preferably “neutral” color-fields as the highest iteration in the evolution of artistic taste. These ideas linger over our concepts of art and design today like a deleterious smog. Anything not white is denigrated as kitsch, low class, and tasteless.

This show rejects Loosian theories. It rejects the privilege given to whiteness. It denounces the idea that visual criticality can be achieved by setting two pieces in “dialog” against a “neutral”background, because white is not neutral. White has been and continues to be the color that Eurocentrism imposes upon the cultures it assaults, claiming to know better in terms of taste.

False Neutral recognizes the racial connotations of literal and metaphorical whitewashing and aims to fight these in both aesthetics and theory. Our exhibition has dualistic aims of pushing back against the formal and racial ideologies that the white cube consequently embodies. We unite these concepts in terms of recognizing the inaccurate narrative of purity that minimalism offers in art history. Through works that lay bare the lie of the white cube, recognize and eschew minimalism’s devaluation of craft/“women’s work,” works that embody geocultural patterns and textiles, and works that engage the sensory body beyond visuality, We will disrupt the ideology of the white cube. We will disrupt the space of the white cube and its champion, Minimalism. Join us in engaging with overwhelming visual cognition through a cacophony of characters, words, and textures.