by Joe Nolan
Wayne White’s best-known works are his paintings of large, three-dimensional text added to the surface of found vintage landscapes — a technique that’s become the trope of the moment in commercials and movie credits (think Zombieland). Part painter, part poet (all clown?), the Middle Tennessee native and MTSU alum was also an Emmy-winning designer on the too-good-for-television Pee-wee’s Playhouse, not to mention his work as art director for Smashing Pumpkins’ music video “Tonight, Tonight” and Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time.” Actually, these examples barely begin to trace the voluminous output White hath wrought — although the recent 382-page career-spanning monograph put out by fashion designer Todd Oldham (a major White fan) gets a gold star for trying.
Also opening at Zeitgeist tonight is Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner. Wagner’s work was a standout contribution in last year’s Aftermath show at Watkins, and his recent paintings from photographs document his personal history as well as the histories of places passed during his creative evolution.