On view January 23, 2020 through January 10, 2021
White Gold is an immersive installation by artist Thomas Sayre (American, b. 1950) that depicts a cotton-filled Southern landscape. The work intends to express the beauty, the complexity, and the tragedy of our embroiled agricultural traditions. Cotton is one of the nation’s most contentious and layered materials, and one with which almost every American has a personal relationship, either directly or indirectly. Inevitably, it is linked to the economic, racial, and social history of the region and its people. Sayre’s White Gold refers to cotton and a reverence for the land, the labor, and the people (forced or unforced) who made cotton their livelihood. The installation is a fierce expression of the Southern landscape: its magnificence and the haunting pain of history, memory, and ultimately, belonging.
White Gold: Thomas Sayre is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh