Artist: Pae White
Venue: South London Gallery, London
Exhibition Title: Too Much Night, Again
Date: March 13 – May 12, 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Greengrassi, London. Photos by Andy Keate
Los Angeles-based artist Pae White merges art, design, craft and architecture through site-specific installations and individual works which defy our expectations of a variety of techniques and media. For her South London Gallery exhibition she creates a mesmerising installation in which vast quantities of black, red, blue and purple yarn span and criss-cross the room to form a dense cloud of darkness which struggles to exist within the ethereality of the space. As visitors make their way into the work beneath the mesh of threads, supergraphics spelling out the words TIGER TIME and UNMATTERING gradually emerge and dissolve depending on both the viewer’s physical relationship to them and the relative weight of the overall aesthetic experience.
Inspired by the artist’s recent bouts of insomnia and consequent reflection on the transience of our existence, the installation also incorporates one of her old jogging T-shirts, her sleepless nights having started when she had to give up running, an activity which had been integral to her thinking process and artistic practice for some 25 years. Beneath the T-shirt, a pile of pizza boxes point to another aspect of the creative process behind the work, in this case to one of many meals consumed by the team of eight technicians who spent ten days making the installation. The use of purple and black yarn is also significant, the colours being those on the cover of Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality album, a copy of which White remembers having terrified her so much when she was a child that she had to hide it under her bed to be able to sleep.
Pae White’s work is characterised by its diversity and the artist’s ability to develop visually impressive responses to a range of contexts. Gallery installations have included a shimmering sea of over-sized, gold-lined popcorn kernels suspended from fine threads to hover just above the floor, huge tapestries of photorealistic smoke plumes, and room-filling mobiles of mirrored geometric shapes. In 2009 she responded to Miami’s architectural skyline with her own micro-development of temporary scaffolding structures, made magical through the interior illumination of their brightly coloured translucent walls, whilst in 2008 an outdoor exercise park for dogs proved to be a popular hit with dog owners at the Folkestone Triennial. For the 2009 Venice Biennale animals were again a preoccupation when White transformed a warehouse into an imagined haven for birds. Hanging beneath a ceiling of coloured acrylic thread, a series of extraordinary seed-encrusted chandeliers implied the presence of birds, periodically made audible by impersonators whistling live in the space.
White has exhibited extensively across the USA and internationally over the past twenty years, as well as undertaking high profile projects for the Venice Biennale in 2009 and Whitney Biennale in 2010, and numerous commissions including those for Transport for London, the New Opera House in Oslo and Berlin Brandenburg airport. Forthcoming solo shows include those at the Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany (March-July 2013) and at MAK in Vienna, Austria (Autumn 2013).