PAE WHITE, 1963 Pasadena(California).
Lives and works in Los Angeles
1991 MFA Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
1990 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, MN
1985 BA Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Pae White, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Pae White, St. Louis Art Museum, New Media Series, St. Louis, MI
Material Mutters, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
2 Person exhibition with Daniel Buren, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium
Smoke Knows, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Bright and Dark, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VI
Between the Outside In, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
Between the Inside Out, Mills College, San Francisco, CA
Pae White: Lisa Bright & Dark, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ
2 Person exhibition with TJ Wilcox, Gavlak, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Baci e Abracci, galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan, Italy
Too Much Night, Neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany
Get Well Soon, greengrassi, London, UK
2 Person exhibition with Virgil Marti, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
Midnight, Skestos Gabriele, Chicago, IL
NW for NZ Sue, Crockford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
In no particular order, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
another cherry blossom, greengrassi, London, UK
Cottonmouth, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany
Bazar, Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
Periwinkles, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
In No Particular Order, Milton Keyes Gallery, Milton Keyes, UK
Pae White, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Amps and Ohms, centre d‘art contemporain la Synagogue de Delme, Delme, France
Ohms and Amps, Le Salle de Bains, Lyon, France
Giraffes, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany
(untitled), Richard Telles Fine Art. Los Angeles, CA
Fire ‘n‘ Nice, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Chamois, Sespe and Foggy, galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan
Ghost Towns, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand
A grotto, some nightfish and a second city, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
The Actual Tigers, greengrassi, London, UK
Pae White, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Pae White, galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan, Italy
Birds and Ships, neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Pae White, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
Pae White, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Pae White, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
WPEP, Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Neapolitan City, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Pae White, greengrassi, London, UK
Animal Flood, I-20 Gallery, New York, NY
Summer Work, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Pae White, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Graduate Exhibition, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
10, 11, W.C. Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
Pae White, Bliss Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Contemplating the Void, curated by Nancy Spector, The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Pieces a vivre, curated by Violaine Daniels, Centre d‘art contemporain, Chamarande, France
Konigstraum und Massenware, Utopia Daily, curated by Katia Baudin, Porzellanikon, Selb, Germany
Alchemy, Reed College, Portland, OR
King Rat, curated by Tessa Giblin, Project Arts Center, Dublin, Ireland
The Tale of a Blind Resistance Fighter, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands
One Work, One Room, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
The Artist‘s Museum: Los Angeles Artists 1980-2010, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Musuem of American Art, New York, NY
Marea de Nudos, Galeria Jesus Gallardo, Leon, Gunajuanto, Mexico
Fare Mondi/Making Worlds, 53rd La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Mind The Step, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Notation. Calculation and Form in the Arts, ZKM Media Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany. Curated by Dieter Appelt and Peter Weibel.
1999, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
Contemplating the Void, The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY Curated by Nancy Spector
House is Not a Home, La Calmeterie, Nazelles, France curated by Ingrid Bruchard
Cottage Home, Los Angeles, CA
Summer Group Show, Cottage Home, Los Angeles, CA
In Bed Together, Royal/T, Los Angeles, CA
From My Universe: Objects of Desire, See Line Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Rock Garden, Salon 94, New York, New York
Flower Power, Villa Giulia - CRAA Cenre Ricerca Arte Attuale, Verbania, Italy
Installations Inside/Out: Armory 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
Cohabitation, 13 artists and collage, galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan,Italy
Shhoener Wohner, neugerreimschneider, Berlin
MEXICO: Expected/Unexpected, Collection of Agustin et Isabel Coppel, Maison Rouge, Paris, France
Shoes, Gavlak, West Palm Beach, FL
Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Introduction, About Change Collection, Berlin, Germany
100 Years, 100 Artists, 100 Works of Art, Rochelle School, Shoreditch, London, UK
Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles
Los Vinilos, London, Zoo Fair, Burlington Gardens, Curated by Henry Coleman
Aesthetics of SImilarities, Another History of Future; Prague Triennale - Re-reading the Future, Veletrzni Palace, National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Variation 1, Wiener Konzerthausses, Vienna, Austria
Smoke, Pump House Gallery, London, UK
Construction, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Group Show, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
Under the Influence, Art and Culture center of Hollywood, Hollywood, FL
COLOR, Gabriele Rena Sternberg Gallery, Glencoe, Illinois
run run, Collins Gallery at University of Scotland, Glasgow International, Glasgow, Scotland
Legende, Domaine Departemental de Chamarande, Chamarande, France
Tales of Time and Space, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, UK, Curated by Andrea Schlieker
Half Square, Half Crazy, Villa Arson, Nice, France
Skulpture Projekte Munster 07, Munster, Germany
If Everybody Had an Ocean,Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, UK
New Materials as New Media, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
Los Vinilos, El Basilico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Shadow Cabinet - part II; Route A1, de Appel, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Six, Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
LA Desire, Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Dusseldorf, Germany
Uneasy Angel, Waldthausen, Spreuth Magers, Munich, Germany
No Room for the Groom, An Exhibition with Douglas Sirk, Herald Street, London, UK
Sound Art Limo, The Armory, New York, NY
Sculptor‘s Drawings: Ideas, Studies, Sketches, Proposals, and More, Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Michel and seine Freunde, Studio of MIchel Majerus, Berlin, Germany
Running around the Pool, Contemporary Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Darling take Fountain, Kalfayan Galleries, Greece
Brian Wilson, Tate Museum, St. Ives, United Kingdom, Curated by Alex Farquarson
Alone in the Jungle, Mandarin, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by George Porcari
Collage Effect, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Glass, Material Matters, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
La Triennale di Milano, Milan (cat.)
Kit-O-Parts, CAN, Centre d‘Art Neuchatel, Neuchatel, Switzerland
We Can do this Now, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
New Acquisitions, Tate, London, United Kingdom
HyperDesign, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China. Curated by Jonathan Watkins, Gianfranco Maraniello, Xiao Xiaolan, Lin Shu Min and Huang Du
Angela Bulloch, Judy Ledgerwood, Diana Thater and Pae White, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA
Domestique, Gallery Standard, Oslo, Norway Curated by Eivind Furnesvik and Salome Sommer
Raid Triumverate 4, Pae White, Machine Histories and Amy Robinson, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Pae White
Il diavolo del focolare, Palazzo della Triennale, Milan, Italy. Curated by Claudia Gian Ferrari
ARCADIA, Hamburg, Germany, Curated by Oliver Zybock
Shape without form, galleria francesca Kaufmann, Milan, Italy
Light X 8, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY. Curated by Ali Gass.
Galleries Group Show, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, CA
Accommodate, St. Paul St, School of Art and Design, AUT University, Aukland, New Zealand, Curated by M.J. Karr, (cat.)
Among the Ash Heaps of Millionaires, Ancient & Modern, London, United Kingdom
Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Mexico
four decades of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Curated by Louis Grachos and Claire Schneider
Life on the Screens, Les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels, Belgium
Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht, ZKM, Museum fur Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany
Tracking and Tracing - Contemporary Acquisitions 2000 - 2005, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
The Lateral Slip, Sweeney Art Gallery, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, Curated by Jan Tumlir
Interior Worlds, Les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels, Belgium, Curated by Vincent Pecoil
The Secret History of Clay, Tate, Liverpool, UK. Curated by Simon Groom
Strike, ICA, Philadelphia, PA.
Strange Weather, Modern Art, London, UK
The Raw and the Cooked, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.
The Hollows of Glamour, Herbert Read Gallery, Cantebury , UK. Curated by Martin Clark.
Game, Ferragamo, Milan, Italy
Past Present Future: Contemporary Art 1950-present, The Art Instutue of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Sign Language, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Watershed, Minetta Brook, New York, curated by Diane Shamash.
Breathing Water, Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland. Curated by Ugo Rondinone.
Utopia Station, Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy, Curated by Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Black Rainbow, Lucky Tackle, San Francisco, CA, Curated by Anne Collier.
160 Master Drawings, Oldenburg Kunstverein, Oldenburg, Germany, Curated by Michael Neff.
Works for Giovanni, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles
Cola Grants, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA
LEI. Women in Italian Collections, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy, Curated by Francesco Bonami.
Hover, The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA. Curated by Pamela Meredith.
Artist‘s Gifts, Musuem of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Game, Ferragamo, New York, NY
From the Flat Files New Zealand, Curated by Brian Butler and Amada Cruz.
3-D, Friedrich Petzel Gallery. New York, NY, curated by Mark Fletcher.
hell, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany
Richard Hawkins, Stan Kaplan and Pae White, Richard Telles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Group Show, Metro Pictures, New York, NY
Strike, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, UK
Intangible, exposicion homenaja a Luis Barragan, Casa ITESO Clavigero, Guadalajara, Mexico
Strolling Through and Ancient Shrine and Garden, ACME, Los Angeles, CA
Bosco, Brain Multiples, JRP Editions, Small Noise, Air de Paris, Paris, France
John Miller, Pae White and Fred Wilson, Metro Pictures, New York, NY
Shimmering Surfaces, Arnolfini Museum, Bristol, United Kingdon and Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK
Center of Attraction, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
August 1 - 31, 2002, LA Louver Gallery, Venice, CA
New Work, New Spaces, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
featherweight, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Canada
The Americans. New Art., Barbican Gallery, London, UK
Extra Art: A Survey of Artist‘s Ephemera 1960-1999, The California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco, CA
The Cult, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles
Dedalic Convention, Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria
Zero Gravity, Kunstverein, Dusseldorf, Germany
Rogue Wave, LA Louver, Los Angeles
Over..., Unlimited Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
LA, Monika Spruth and Philomene Magers, Cologne, Germany
Cheeseburger, Jurgen Becker Galerie, Hamburg, Germany
Circles Ëš3, Zentrum fur Kunst and Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
Made in California, 1900 - 2001, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Redrawing the Line, Art in General, New York, NY
Sex in the Country, Forde, Espace d‘art contemporain L‘Usine
Works on Paper, Studio Guenzani, Milan, Italy
What if, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Against Design, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
OldNewTown, Casey Kaplan, New York, NY
Papermake, Modern Art, Inc., London, UK
After the Goldrush, Threadwaxing Space, NY
Abstract Painting, Once Removed, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
Color Fields, Luckman Fine Arts Gallery, Cal State LA, Los Angeles, CA
Biomorphic Abstraction, Curt Marcus Gallery, NY, NY
L.A. Current Looking at the Light, 3 Generations of LA Artists, UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
WAHLVERWANDTSCHAFTEN, Art & Appenzel, Appenzell, Switzerland
Hirsch Farm Project Now: Speculative Environment, Theme Song and Wisconsin Open House, MCA, Chicago
PhotoImage: Printmaking 60‘s to 90‘s, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
LA or Lilliput?, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
Flaming June, works on paper, inc. Los Angeles, CA
Love at the End of the Tunnel, or the Beginning of a Smart New Day, COCA, Seattle, WA.
The Unreal Person, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA
Three Day Weekend, Krinzinger Gallery, Vienna, Austria
In the Polka Dot Kitchen, Otis Art Gallery, Los Angeles and The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena
Enterprise, ICA, Boston, MA. Curated by Christoph Grunenberg
Elusive Paradise, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Best of the Season, Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT
New Acquisitions and Work from the Permanent Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
No Small Feet, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
[re] - meditation: The Digital in Contemporary American Printmaking, 22nd International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (cat.)
Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles, Three Day Weekend in Malmo, Sweden
Ten Los Angeles Artists, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
New Grounds, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL
Landscape Reclaimed, The Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Just Past: The Contemporary in MOCA‘s Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
True Bliss, LACE, Los Angeles, CA (cat.)
Muse-X Editions recent publications, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA
Sally Elesby/Pae White, Four Walls, San Francisco, CA
Mod Squad, Spanish Box, Santa Barbara, CA
Ginny Bishton Richard Hawkins Pae White, Richard Telles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Open House, Williamson Gallery, Art Center College, Pasadena, CA
HAWAII, with Jorge Pardo, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, NY.
Saturday Night Fever, Tom Solomon‘s Garage, Los Angeles, CA
filmcuts, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany
neotoma, Otis Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
Youth Culture ate My Dog (but I don‘t really mind), TBA, Chicago, IL
Smells Like Vinyl, Roger Merians Gallery, New York, Curated by Sarah Seager and Thad Strode.
Message is the Medium, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New York
Pure Beauty, The American Center, Paris, France and MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Ann Goldstein.
Notational Photography, Petzel/Borgmann and Metro Pictures, New York, NY, Curated by Friedrich Petzel.
The Art of Seduction, The Center Gallery at Miami Dade Community College, Miami, Florida. Curated by Bonnie Clearwater (cat.)
Watt, Witte de With, Rotterdam and the Kunsthal, Rotterdam. Curated by Goose Oosterhof and Chris Dercon.
Identity: The Logic of Appearance, Krinzinger Gallery, Vienna, Austria, Curated by Shoshana Blank.
Bad Girls, The New Museum, New York. Curated by Marcia Tucker.
Plane Structures, Otis Art Gallery, Los Angeles, Renaissance Society, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and White Columns,Wesleyan University Center, Nevada Institute of Contemporary Art, The University of North Texas Art Gallery. Curated by David Pagel.(cat.)
Green, Bradley Building, Los Angeles. Curated by Wendy Adest.
Transtextualism, Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. Curated by Sabina Ott.
Cherry Bomb, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA. Curated by Mike Blockstein and Meg Mack.
TIMES, Anderson O‘Day Gallery, London, England, curated by Andrew Cross.
Home Alone, Bliss Gallery, Pasadena, CA. Curated by Michael Cohen.
The Imp of the Perverse, Sally Hawkins, New York, NY. Curated by Alisa Tager.
Sugar n‘ Spice, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California. Curated by Carolanne Klonirides and Noriko Gamblin. (cat.)
Into the Lapse, Karsten Schubert, London, Friesenwall 120, Cologne, Germany,
Dogenhouse, Leipzig, Bruno Brunnet Fine Arts, Berlin
The Royal Danish Academy of Art, Copenhagen (cat.)
Societe des Expositions, Palais des Beaux- Arts, Brussels, Curated by Brian D.Butler and Jean Rasenberger.
Summer Show, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Group Show, Elizabeth Koury, New York, NY
Recent Purchases From the Roseview Collection, Roseview Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Sally Elesby
Detour, International House, New York, NY, curated by Barbara Duncan and Sandra Antelo-Saurez. (cat.)
The Lick of the Eye, Shoshana Wayne, Santa Monica, CA, curated by David Pagel
Sam Durant, Ed Suman, Andrew Winer and Pae White, Parker Zanic, Los Angeles, CA
Window on L.A., L.A. Art Fair. Curated by David Pagel. (cat.)
Mixed Media, Mixed Messages, Lang Art Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA. Curated by Paul Darrow.
The White Show, W.C. Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. Curated by Tom Dolan and Mark Stritzel.
Art Center and UCLA at Cal Arts, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Taschen, Angelika, Interiors Now, Taschen, 106, 110-111 illus.
Jackson, Candace. "The Whitney Biennial turns 75," The Wall Street Journal, (January 6), W-81 illus.
Spiller, Nancy. "Smoke and Mirrors," Arroyo Monthly, February 2010, 36-37 illus.
Walker, Alissa. "Team Hollywood," The Architectural Newspaper, Jan. 27, 2010
Camhi, Leslie. "Smoke Signals," Vogue, March 404 illus.
"Questionnaire," Frieze, March 140
Emerling, Susan. "A larger-than-life world view," Los Angeles Times, April 18, E-2, 11
"Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn," New York Times, Design Spring, T-90 illus.
"Live your Art," Art + Living, Winter, 106-109
Borge, Maria. "Illusjonisten," Backstage, Intermagasin for Den Norske Opera & Ballet, 8-9 illus.
Yablonsky, Linda. "Women‘s Work," New York Times Style Magazine, Spring, 142-144
Young, Emily. "Artistic Intuition," California Home+Design, April, 96-103 illus.
2010, Whitney Biennial exhibition catalogue, Whitney Museum, New York 122-123
Galler, Baudouin, "Pae White chez Xavier Hufkens," 30 - 31 January 23, 2009 VIF Art Now 3, Hans Werner Holzworth (ed) Taschen Verlag pp. 508 - 511 illus.
Pagel, David. "A touch of melancholy," Los Angeles Times, Friday, June 5, 2009, pg D18
Making Worlds, exhibition catalogue for 53rd Venice Biennale. illus. pgs 166 - 167
Milia, Maria. "I chioccolatori alla Biennale d‘arte," MessaggeroVeneto, Sunday, June 7, 2009 X 2008
Pae White - Lisa Bright and Dark, exhibition catalogue, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Centre D‘Art Contemporain La Synagogue de Delme, Published by les presses du reel, Corinne Charpentier (ed.), illus. pp. 142 - 151
Herbert, Martin. "Smoke," Art Monthly, November 2008, pp. 321 - 322. illus. Stoker, Neil. "Unconventional Classification," Culture Wars, Friday, 28 November, 2008. www.culturewars.org.uk
Sherwin, Skye. "Pae White," 10, Winter 2008 pages 102 - 103, illus.
Morgan, Susan. "Polka Dot Geometry," Modern Painters, November 2008, pp. 30 - 31. illus.
"Grazia Casa," Loggetto Del Mese, October 2008, p. 19, illus.
"Abitare con L‘Arte," Elle Decor Italia, Settembre Anno 19 N. 9, pp. 254 - 256 illus.
Noe, Paola. "Pae White at Galleria Francesca Kaufmann," Artforum, September 2008, p. 479, illus.
"Under the Influence Pae White," ArtReview, September 2008, Issue 25, p. 40
Legende, exhibition catalogue, Alexis Vaillant (ed) published by Domaine Departemental de Chamarande, Sternberg Press, p. 207 illus.
Coomer, Martin. "Pae White," Modern Painters March 2008, p. 85 illus.
Folkestone Triennial, exhibition catalogue, published by Cultureshock Media Ltd. On behalf of the The Creative Foundation, Folkestone, Kent UK, pp. 108 - 111 illus.
Stein, Jerry. "Art From Anything," The Cincinnati Post
Wulff, Friederike. "Pae White," Artinvestor, March 2007, p. 58 - 61 illus.
Sculpture Projects Muenster, Edited by Brigitte Franzen, Kasper Konig and Carina Plath, Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter Konig, Cologne Germany, pp. 287 - 293, illus.
Idylle, Traum und Trugschluss (Illusion and Delusion), Edited by Oliver Zybok, Published by Hatje Cantz Germany, pp. 241 - 243. illus
Collector‘s Choice: Collection 2, Published by Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, South Korea, illus. p. 59 Directions:
Virgil Marti and Pae White, exhibition booklet, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Dixon, Glenn. "Step Into My Parlor," The Washington Post Express Paper, March 8, 2007
Darling, take Fountain, exhibition catalogue. Kalfayan Galleries, Athens, Greece. Curated by Konstantin Kakanias. Illus. 84 - 85
DLD Book for Friends, Published by NIGHTFROG and Hubert Burda Marketing & Communications Gmbhp.177
Running around the Pool, Contemporary Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, Illus. 20, 28
Half Square, Half Crazy, exhibition catalogue, published by Villa Arson, Nice, France. Illus. pp. 88, 89, 92, 93 and 96
Sansom, Anna. "Under the Carpet," DAM No. 14, December 2007 - January 2008, pp. 64 - 69. Illus. 68 - 69
Uovo Magazine, Chiara Figone, Publishing Director, Issue 15 October - December 2007, pp. 260, 261, 269 and 279
Il diavolo del focolare, (ex. cat.), Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy. Texts by Luigi Settembrini, Claudia Gian Ferrari, Consuelo Cescar Casaban, Paolo Mereghetti and Francesca Sorace. Electra Publishers pp.103-106 and 178 - 181, illus.
Artner, Alan G. "An old way of playing with light, new results," Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2006 p. 27
HyperDesign, catalogue to accompany exhibition. Published by the Shanghai Fine Art Publishers, Shanghai, China. Editors Fang Zengxian and Xu Jiang Illus. pgs 160 - 163
Browne, Alix. "Perchance to Dream," New York Times Style Magazine, Design Fall 2006, p. 54, illus.
Eva Hesse: Sculpture, The Jewish Museum and Yale University Press, p. 46, p. 47, illus.
Myers, Terry, "Pae White," Time Out Chicago, May 25 - June 1, 2006, p. 70 illus.
Glass: Material Matters, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles texts by Howard Fox, p. 48 illus.
No. 1, First Works by 362 Artists, Francesca Richer and Matthew Rosenzweig, Thames and Hudson, p. 404 illus.
Durrant, Nancy. "Creative vision with strings attached," The Times, June 24 - 30, 2006, p. 36 - 37 illus.
Hainley, Bruce. "Ongeleide activiteit Los Angeles, Deel 2 Vluchtige notities 1985 - 2006," Metropolis M, No. 3 2006 June/July pp. 75 - 79 and 106 - 107, p. 78 and 106 illus.
Karr, M.J., Accommodate, exhibition catalogue, St. Paul St, School of Art and Design, AUT University, Aukland, New Zealand, Curated pps 1 and 4, illus.
Hainley, Bruce. "Artquake," The New York Times Magazine, October 1st, 2006, pp 78 - 85
Clifford, Andre. "Highly mobile whirl of form and colour," The New Zealand Herald, October 4, 2006.
Frieze Projects, Polly Staple editor, published by Frieze magazine, London UK, illus 72 - 73
The Gaurdian, The Guide, December 23-20, 2005, p.33
Angeleno Magazines, November, 2005, p. 58
Moos, David. "Extreme Abstraction," ArtUS, issue 10, October-November, 2005 p. 33 illus.
"Inner Cities," ArtReview, March 2005, p. 60, illus.
"Transportation," New York Times, Thursday, December 15, D-6
Art Now 2, Uta Grosenick (ed) Taschen Verlag pp. 540 - 543 illus.
Works from Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Skira editore, Milan, Francesco Bonami (ed) p. 316 illus.
DesignArt, Alex Coles (ed) Tate Publishing, London, UK, p. 136 illus..
LA Artland, Chris Krauss, Jan Tumlir and Jane McFadden (ed), Black Dog Publishing, London, UK, illus. pp. 68 - 69
Peinture: Cinq Regards, Vincent Pecoil (ed), Editions du Regard, Paris, France, p. 22 illus.
Brian Wilson, An Art Book, Published by Four Corners Press, London, UK illus. 128, 135
Clare, Jessica. "Sweeney slips to side," Highlander, Tuesday, January 11, 2005 p. 16
Gaasch, Cynnie. "Juicy Cool," Artvoice, July 21-27, 2005 p. 18
Coles, Alex. "Functioning Decoration," Contemporary, issue 75, p. 22 - 25 Pagel, David. "Accessible riot of lines and colors," Los Angeles Times, Friday, 23rd, pg E23
Extreme Abstraction, Published by The Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Finch, Charlie. "Buffalo Soldier," www.artnet.com, Tuesday, August 9, 2005
"Suspended Matter" The New York Times Magazine, Design Fall 105 - 106
Krebber, Michael, Alien Hybrid Creatures, p. 63 illus.
"A Pure and Simple Fashion Story," Vogue Italia, January 2004, p. 154 - 161, p. 160 illus.
"The magnificent seven," Artreview, October 2004, p. 35
"Frieze Art Fair," Art & Auction, October 2004, p. 82
Von Haase, Bettina. "Londra lancia la sfida del contemporaneo," Panorama, Oct. 7, 2004
Corbetta, Caroline, "Art in Fair," L‘Uomo Vogue, October 4th
"Rainbow Rovers gather for art fair," Birmingham Post, October 18th
Searle, Adrian. "Her Dark Materials," The Guardian, October 19th, p. 12 - 13
"The Art of Rover," Autocar Magazine, October 26th
"Frieze already an established British tradition," The Art Newspaper, October 2004
Camhi, Leslie. "People are Talking About Art," Vogue, November 2004
Pecoil, Vincent. "Pae White," Flash Art, October 2004, p. 130, illus.
Nelson, Arty. "The Many Colors of Pae White," LA Weekly, p. 46, illus.
Cheng, Scarlet. "String music, improvised," Los Angeles Times, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 p. E16 - 17 illus.
Tumlir, Jan. "Pae White UCLA Hammer Museum," Artforum, Summer 2004, p. 255
Pecoil, Vincent. "Amps and Ohms, Ohms and Amps," Zero Deux No. 37, automne 2004, pgs. 24 - 25, illus.
Lavrador, Judicael. "Modes & Travaux," les Inrockuptibles, June 13, 2004, issue 449, pgs. 60 - 61, illus
Pagel, David. "Filaments hold the firmament," Los Angeles Times, Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 p. E22 illus.
A Secret History of Clay, exhibition catalogue, Tate Liverpool, illus. Pg 89
Charlesworth, JJ. Deep Surfaces: The Hallows of Glamour, Annual Herbert Read Gallery, Kent Institute of Art and Design, illus. 71, 72, 73, 95-101
Allen, Jane Ingram. "Beacon New York, A Sculpture Destination", Sculpture, July/August 2204, pgs. 41 - 45
Ramade, Benedicte. "Pae White, la versatilite comme vertu," L‘OEIL, Septembre 2004, pgs. 22 - 23 illus.
Von Schlegell, Mark. "String Theories," art on paper, March/April 2004, pgs. 58 - 59 illus.
Behn, Andrea. "Pae White," Gingerale, pgs. 44-45, illus.
LaFuente, Pablo. "If I could change...," ArtReview, 82 - 83. illus.
"Riding Metro Now an Artistic Experience," Tolucan Times & Canyon Crier, April 7, 2004
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Drawn from an abundance of art historical and pop cultural sources, Pae White‘s cascading mobiles evoke everything from schools of fish, flocks of birds, and teeming ponds, to Impressionist paintings with their myriad marks. White describes this body of work as "an exploration of movement contained." Like "a waterfall on pause" the works are "a flurry of color and gentle movement, suspended for contemplation." Made with brightly colored cut paper strung on colored thread, the pieces move in response to the slightest breath, defining three-dimensional space while remaining fluid.
Organized by James Elaine, curator of Hammer Projects.
About the Exhibition
By Alex Farquharson
Seasoned gallery goers these days are used to art taking just about any form imaginable. Still, under duress and given enough time, we might just be able to conceive of a few things that we would never think of as art. Parisian air has been done (Marcel Duchamp), so have twelve live horses (Jannis Kounellis), as has a giant trench in the desert (Michael Heizer). These days we would have to look beyond the found object, however banal or extraordinary, for something one couldn‘t imagine calling art. If I had been able to think of it, a set of fully functioning cast-iron barbecues in the shape of stylized animals might have fit the bill. A series of twelve working clocks made of paper representing the signs of the zodiac, or adverts in magazines for other artists‘ exhibitions, might have done too.
Clearly animal barbecues, paper clocks, chandeliers, and birdcages don‘t operate like traditional art objects, if we take that to mean painting or sculpture. Yet neither do they sit easily within an avant-garde notion of the art object as neither painting nor sculpture. Pae White‘s work isn‘t obviously oppositional enough for that. For one, her work utilizes too many of painting and sculpture‘s values while remaining neither. For another, though a reductive form is often the starting point, the end results are usually formally complex and runaway decorative. The attitude of the work, too, is decidedly un-avant-garde: it has a playfulness, a deceptive lightness, a sense of whimsy and caprice that are alien to the avant-garde program. White‘s work resists the kind of analysis an avant-garde object demands by instilling a sense of wonder and reverie in the viewer; we tend to lose ourselves in the works‘ intricate beauty and the allusions that they put into play. These allusions are largely our own, since any imagery in the work is too ambiguous or too plain weird to act prescriptively. In a specific sense, the work has no hidden meanings and nothing to decode. Its engagement with viewers is egalitarian. The mobiles, for instance, rely less on an understanding of Postminimalist sculpture than our ability to picture the movement of swarms, schools, and flocks of brilliantly colored creatures in water or air or, perhaps, our knowledge of Californian or Antipodean ghost towns. More
That said, Pae White belongs to a generation of international artists who have revived issues of site and context that have remained largely unexplored since the mid-1970s. Although at times you find her work where you would expect itï¿½that is, at eye level on walls or somewhere central on the floorï¿½you are just as likely to find it covering windows, suspended in midair, or stacked up around a corner between two rooms. Often you won‘t find it in exhibition spaces at all, but in areas of museums and galleries dedicated to activities other than the display of art: the bookshop window (Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne), for instance, the office (China Art Objects, Los Angeles), a children‘s learning area (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), or foyer (the Hammer piece you‘ve just been looking at). It undergoes a more extreme process of dispersal when it takes the multiple format of covers for magazines (four issues of Make: Women‘s Art Magazine), advertisements for galleries (a series of twelve for neugerriemschneider in Frieze), or invitation cards and catalogs for other artists‘ exhibitions (Jorge Pardo and Tobias Rehberger, for example).
There are historical precedents for all of this, especially in art of the late 1960s. When Attitudes Become Form, the seminal group exhibition exploring late-1960s tendencies curated by Harald Szeemann at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, featured works sited along the edge of the floor (Richard Serra‘s Splash Piece), suspended in the air (Gilberto Zorio‘s Untitled [Torcia]), on the staircase (Kounellis‘s sacks of grain), all over the Kunsthalle (Richard Artschwager‘s Blps), out on the sidewalk (Heizer‘s Berne Depression) and beyond Bern altogether (Richard Long‘s walk in the Swiss Alps). From the mid- to late 1960s Conceptual artists such as Mel Bochner, Dan Graham, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Robert Smithson used magazines as sites for works that took the form of inserts, articles, and advertisements. From 1968 to 1971 the New York gallerist Seth Siegelaub produced a number of books that acted as sites for solo and group exhibitions.
You need only look at Pae White‘s work for a split second to realize that it occupies these types of spaces quite differently. Postminimalist sculptors used raw industrial and natural materials in part to narrow the divide between work and site and art and life. Conceptual artists, especially, sought visual neutrality in order to present their reflexive ideas on art with as much clarity as possible, bald text being their preferred medium. Some believed that these anti-aesthetic strategies functioned politically: that by avoiding seductive colors, forms, and materials they were resisting the art market in particular and capitalism in general.
There is nothing visually raw or neutral about Pae White‘s aesthetic: colors are dazzling, words are set in idiosyncratic typefaces, and the materials she favors are delicate and lush. Even when she is working minimally, the effect is ravishing and at times hallucinatory. Take Copy Cat Lap, 1998 for example. The two slabs of vivid yellow Plexiglas throw wavelike reflections on the gallery ceiling that are quite at odds with the matte metal and firebrick floor works Carl Andre is known for.
One of the reasons for Postminimalism‘s failure to close the gap between art and life was its rejection of the popular aesthetics of its era. White and other artists of her generation have embraced the style and function of applied arts to an extent not seen since the days of the Bauhaus. The results are works that duck in and out of their art status precisely because they camouflage their conceptual underpinnings in the aesthetics and uses of images, objects, and structures belonging to the designed world. Are the animal-shaped grills from Briquettes and Support, 2003 sculptures or barbecues? Is the publication accompanying the group exhibition What If: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design (Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2000) a catalog or Pae White multiple?
It‘s the significance of style that sets White apart from the artists who explored new sites in the late 1960s. Style was suppressed then, while in her work it is overt. Its operation has the effect of personalizing whatever space she uses, be that the spaces of an institution or the work of a contemporary. When Pae White‘s ebullient yet light-footed work is around, the logic that distinguishes one artist from another, the artist from gallery, or spaces designated for art from areas designated for other uses, is made to seem pedantic and obsolete.
Alex Farquharson is a curator, writer, and lecturer who lives in London.
Pae White was born in 1963 in Pasadena, California. She lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her M.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Recent solo exhibition venues include Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne; galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan; the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand; the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; greengrassi, London; and 1301PE, Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include The Americans: New Art, organized by the Barbican Art Centre in London, and Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Articles on her work have appeared in Frieze, Tema Celeste, Contemporary, Art Monthly, and Artforum, among others. In addition she has designed publications and advertisements for a number of museums, galleries, and magazines.
Hammer Projects are made possible with support from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and members of the Hammer Circle.
Hans Ulrich Obrist interview with Pae White
HUO: My first question is about the oscillation of your practice. You have always had your practice in museums and galleries, however you go beyond into all kinds of contexts. You have done books, you have curated shows and have carried your work in a very dispersed way into other fields than the art world. We are here in Munich at the DLD [what is this?] conference and every speaker has one of the hundred and ninety-nine elements of your piece could you talk a little about what that?
PW: OK. I never really feel that I am a designer, it‘s always done with a sort of artfulness and I think when I work in this kind of area, especially with a book, that I am very interested in the assumed book form. I am very interested that there is an audience for a book and that assumption sets up an opportunity for art to take place. In this instance I was really excited because this is exactly the situation I like. There are these areas that are unpopular, that maybe, for instance, in an exhibition scenario I will look for the space in the museum that is undesirable or forgotten or hidden and that was the same situation that came up here. Johannes asked me if I wanted to do bags, which to me seemed very obvious and I had already done that. So I thought if I did a bag it had to be a brown grocery bag and that I really wanted that kind of casualness, especially in this context of all these digital people, carrying around a brown ......-type grocery bag. We couldn‘t really do that and then I thought about this real estate, which is very interesting to me because it is almost a mandatory conference uniform, this piece of jewellery [Conference badge]. I really like the given of that and I really liked the intimacy of that: this thing is always next to your body, somehow. So I was working on this overall graphic that could somehow be a haiku, something about community but something that was also about individuality, once broken up. Everyone has this individual logo, sort of an endless logo, and it‘s always, hopefully, next to your heart. Which isn‘t the case: it‘s next to your stomach in this case, but it‘s pretty interesting to see everybody have this little bit of individuality, a roving addition, I guess.
HUO: Gilbert and George, who were my heroes at the beginning of my professional life, always said ‘art for all‘. Could one say that your approach is art for all?
PW: Maybe it is a Beuysian art throughout life, art in cooking, art in these things, but I also really like the suspending of that definition. I like that moment of ambiguity when maybe the viewer will ask questions of their desire to want to totalise what one does over something else.
I think I am more interested in foregrounding the need to find the definition, to totalise, I guess, one over the other. I am not really interested in the blurring of the boundaries; it‘s really more that there is an art opportunity in all of these things. Like this can become an art opportunity and maybe the only place this art can exist is in this kind of a scenario. In many ways it is about finding these hidden zones.
HUO: That‘s great. Having just had the Ghost Towns book, it‘s interesting that the interview we are doing - it‘s not like any other interview which goes into a catalogue or a magazine, but it‘s obviously a special thing to do an interview with you. The interview goes into a book and all your books are designed by you; they are more like catalogues, they are more like artists‘ books, so it is interesting if we talk about this catalogue and catalogues in general.
PW: Yes, and I think I was really lucky because I was always interested in books and designing books but I was never able to pull off the degree in graphics, I wasn‘t keen enough, and I went off into fine art but I always had this longing to do that. These kinds of catalogues became a great opportunity and I have to say I got very lucky because Jorge Pardo, who was a colleague of mine, -
HUO: You studied together.
PW: Well, I studied after him. We dated. [Laughs] I guess we studied together. He had this great need for catalogues and he wasn‘t interested in doing them so he just gave them to me to do. So I always came at it from not a very schooled approach in catalogue or book design and that left it very open for me to use it as a platform for my other interests, my own work. This book is another example of that. For instance, this was a semi-residency.
HUO: Ghost Towns.
PW: Yes. And it‘s in New Zealand and I know very few people are going to see this exhibition so why not make this book somehow demonstrative of the show or the experience. In this small town in New Zealand there is a publication; it is a one-sheet that circulates in the town and it became very important to me to see this because there was very little going on in the city. So for me that kind of documentation made sense, to be the first thing that one experiences when you see the book. There is this ephemera that was interesting to me. The other thing about this book, and I make these books with the assumption that no-one is going to see the show, is that this matrix of love went into this book. I enlisted my husband to write the text. I enlisted a young Italian curator/writer who‘s British and Italian, so his English is kind of there but it‘s not one hundred per cent, which I like very much to preserve. He was falling in love with the DJ at the time, so this matrix of love and music and not-great English, but maybe more precise because it‘s not that great, going into this essay was very important to me. And this little scrap book of things that I love and these little areas that could somehow augment something that you hadn‘t really seen.
HUO: Can you talk about this scrapbook of things? I was thinking it is almost like Gerhard Richter has his atlas, there is this whole idea of archives, of artists - Mulligan has a very encyclopaedic form of atlas as well. Is this your atlas? What is the role of this found material?
PW: It‘s like an appendix of information that can‘t find it‘s way in a really concrete way, so maybe an array, a kind of quilt. Most of the images in this sense are from the Internet. I just lifted, so it‘s kind of an archive but kind of a quilt, also, of something that‘s overall and how they all work together. But with these books, again it‘s really not that different from how I would approach the space. There‘s a momentum to going through the pages; the white pages are the white walls, there‘s a budget, there‘s an audience, there‘s distribution. Those things are things that I think about. So for this show I am hoping to do something similar: with somewhat of a remote location, the book will live longer than the show. So I will craft the book with that consideration.
HUO: Talking about your graphic design, about your beginnings in graphic design and the way it took with you, and your own work designing these books and being an artist and having this presence with books, who have been your heroes in graphic design?
PW: Oh gosh! Bruno Munari and probably Milton Glaser and anonymous designers. Probably, well in graphic design there is a textile designer who signs her name ‘Vera‘, who has always been a big influence for me.
HUO: Who is she?
PW: She was a textile designer that came to the United States, I think in the thirties, and set up a company with her husband and started producing textiles [Vera and George Neumann; Printax]. What I think is really interesting about her is that she used the world as an excuse to make a textile. So for instance, this table with the red bowl and the pen and the papers could become a scarf; this idea of the ad infinitum potential of the world for design. That also spread into contemporary art, so she would do a shameless borrowing of a Mangold, put it into a bed sheet and one would sleep on this Mangold-type bed sheet and maybe have an art education in one‘s sleep. What type of contemporary art education does one have when one is sleeping on something that is inspired by contemporary art? I never really set out to have any graphic design heroes, I was just really interested in being able to make a book, make a thing.
HUO: There obviously is a link, but it would be interesting to know how you see that link between the book space and the exhibition space, because if one thinks about the issues you describe, like the textile issues, they exist in a 2-D space in the book and then they kind of unfold in a 3-D way in the exhibition space. How do you see the link? While we are doing this interview for the catalogue, in Scottsdale there will also be an exhibition. How do you see the exhibition and the book related? Is there a 2-D/3-D oscillation, as Leon Golub once called it?
PW: Yes. I think so. I was just saying you enter the book in a very particular way and there is a certain momentum, there is a certain speed ratio that happens; maybe you have a sense when you are three quarters of the way through where something really needs to be accelerated and I think that the space of the book is very similar to an exhibition space. I really think that the pages are the walls and the natural inclination to viewing is not that different to the natural inclination to reading or turning a page. I just get a real thrill.
HUO: And what is the role of titles? Can you talk about titles?
PW: I just think it‘s like a poetic opportunity, something that can be confusing or something that can lead the viewer astray. Maybe it can un-totalise the viewing experience by eradicating what one might expect. Maybe my titling of Ghost Towns was the insecurity of the town in New Zealand that they were in the middle of nowhere. I think they were doing very interesting projects. It was kind of a tease for them.
HUO: It‘s interesting because very often exhibition photography in art history is empty; if you look at all the MoMA shows, the historical exhibitions of the twentieth century, they are always without people.
PW: Right. In fact I just did a catalogue for the Albright-Knox and one of the things I insisted on was seeing their party shots, the exhibition openings; they have this incredible archive of all the trustees from the sixties and just the dynamic of that was really interesting, especially with the history of the Albright-Knox. I think that was a luxury and I don‘t think I‘m going to do it again because my tendency to noodle around with this stuff could go on for the rest of my life. If there isn‘t a deadline then it will never happen. So this took a year; this other show that opened a year and a half ago, we are still waiting for that, so it‘s absolute, that will be the difference.
HUO: The next question directly relates to Milton Keynes and your wonderful exhibition there [In No Particular Order; Nov 2005-Jan 2006]. Can you talk about the different aspects in Milton Keynes, because I think it gives a very good panorama on the things you are working on?
PW: There were three very distinctively different rooms that tended to create an arena for the work not to overlap in the way I really would have liked it to happen. It seemed like this body of work, this body of work and this body of work. On the other hand the room with the mobiles was great because it was so indulgent. There was something kind of relentless about that which I think was kind of interesting. But I have to say it was the first time I felt hung-over from my work, that I just was really done with that. So for Scottsdale I‘m hoping to do - it‘s mostly interesting to me to have some sort of experimentation, to see an exhibition as research and development. If something fails then it fails but there is a testing ground with an audience and there is an opportunity.
HUO: I was speaking to Diller and Scofidio about their cloud for Yvedon, and they were telling me it was about immersing into this cloud. The whole idea of an architecture of immersion. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about these mobiles and if you would agree that they are kind of architectures of immersion.
PW: I think there‘s definitely that, but for me it‘s more a freeze-frame of something totally elusive. So if a geometry could be imposed on something that‘s barely there, this is what it could look like and in its frozenness it could be further investigated. But it is really about the stylisation of something, maybe in nature, that‘s suspended, frozen, that can be evaluated through a geometry, I guess. So there is naturally some sort of immersive aspect to it because there‘s a lot of one thing but it‘s just through that kind of grouping that I think the relentlessness, the immersion, takes place.
HUO: And that idea of the freeze-frame, that it‘s frozen, is it a moment in a photographic sense? Cartier-Bresson, when I interviewed him, spoke about the decisive moment.
PW: Decisive moment? [Smiles]
HUO: Is it a decisive moment? A cultural decisive moment?
PW: I don‘t know. The first one was I had this idea of birds disturbed leaving the ground.
HUO: Like swarming.
PW: Yes. And what happens at that moment when they have just left the ground and what does it mean to freeze-frame that and objectify that and look at that. Through that I continued on in different ways, playing with the materials in a little bit different way.
HUO: And now, how has it evolved? Are there evolving series or could it stop all of a sudden?
PW: [Laughs] I‘m trying to figure a way of doing it outside, something that would resist being outside being forced outside as an outdoor piece. I know that they‘re made out of paper and my thinking process right now is trying to put that into an outdoor situation because they‘re so fragile and it bothers me so much. In previous outdoor public projects I‘ve tried to bring something in that might seem like it doesn‘t want to be there. That would be the next approach for these, I guess.
HUO: That leads right away to my next question, which is if there have been any public sculptures you have been doing, any outdoor or public works, realised or unrealised.
PW: Well, I‘ve done a couple.
HUO: I was on a panel with Liam Gillick a few years ago and he was referring to everybody of our generation who worked throughout the nineties when he said all of us of our generation, curators, artists, critics, all equally had actually neglected public art. He said there are bigger possibilities than with exhibitions, bigger possibilities to produce realities. Somehow it went out of fashion; throughout the nineties it wasn‘t really a big part of our generation. So that‘s why I‘m very curious.
PW: I always had a problem with public art for the obvious reasons. It always implies some sort of a consensus and so actually in the nineties I did a piece, which I think was kind of nice, which asked what would I like to see in terms of outdoor sculpture and I did a project, actually, using the scarves of this designer Vera. I thought, ‘What if a textile were to be an outdoor sculpture?‘ ‘What if a scarf or a napkin or a bed sheet or something vulnerable were to be an outside sculpture?‘ So I sandwiched the textiles between glass, put them outside, had an ashtray and a chair, so one could have this small moment of looking at a textile, smoking a cigarette and that‘s it.
HUO: Where was this?
PW: This was at MoCA in Los Angeles and at the American Centre in Paris. I wanted to understand what the heavy, overwrought public sculpture - and I think Liam is right that there is a big problem with the public work preceding the nineties - but I‘m starting to do it more. In fact I‘m doing this project in Munster.
HUO: This is 2007.
PW: Yes. And I like to think of those pieces as playing with this idea of the public space. So the two projects that I‘m working on involve something very small and intimate and something huge and endless. I‘m very interested in a little pastry shop in the retail area, this shop window as being a vitrine.
HUO: In Munster.
PW: Yes. And working with marzipan in some sort of sculptural or figurative sculptural way and sort of commandeering their window as an arena for art. At the same time working with the church bells of the city to programme music that will play certain contemporary love songs or something that plays at the same time all throughout the city. So this project, this sculpture could be heard when you‘re in bed, could be heard when you‘re in the Schedel Garden, could be heard in the marzipan shop. Maybe these kinds of small and large themes will come together, but are barely really there but are very big.
Something small that you could really buy next to the marzipan strawberries and cherries and potatoes, but it‘s some other form, some other sculptural form that you could buy and have this thing. So I think that there are these other opportunities for public work. I‘ve done some bus seat fabric in Los Angeles. I It‘s interesting because this art is going throughout the city all the time and it‘s experienced by all these different people and it‘s proving to be graffiti-resistant, which is pretty weird to me. And I think of it as endless. I think of it being system-wide; however big the system of Los Angeles becomes, this thing just goes on and on as long as it‘s woven. It‘s an endless piece of sculpture in a way. I‘ve done a few. It‘s an extremely unpleasant process.
HUO: The negotiation.
HUO: Do you have any unrealised projects, projects which you desired to do? It‘s my only recurrent question in the interviews: do you have any unrealised projects?
PW: Oh yes.
HUO: Can you tell me about them?
PW: Yes. I‘m trying to figure out how to do this. I have been thinking about an island in Penta Lorea.
I made a site visit with Olafur and one of the things that was so interesting to me is that this small island, which you could see in one hour, was just overrun by a pack of dogs and no matter where you went there was this group of dogs. I thought it would be really interesting to do a sculpture or a pavilion or some sort of a sculptural idea that engaged the dogs of the community. Maybe it‘s like the Niki Sanfal piece at the Pompidou; maybe it‘s a recreational tool for dogs as a public sculpture with many little opportunities of art within that and there‘s a viewing audience.
PW: I would like to take this one piece of sculpture; it‘s about this big and it‘s a pinch pot. Do you know what a pinch pot is?
PW: It‘s a little piece of clay children make. It‘s the first thing I ever did and my father gave back to me about ten years ago and I would like to make that into some sort of an outdoor piece, some sort of large-scale outdoor piece.
HUO: You still have it?
PW: Yes. It was rejected. [Laughs] I have this piece I would really like to expand upon somehow
in the landscape with the irregularities and the finger marks and all that, and the glaze.
HUO: Do you have any collaborations with architects, that whole field of collaborating between art and architecture?
PW: Oh yes. That‘s been somewhat of an unpleasant process, and not because of the architects.
HUO: With whom did you work?
PW: I have been working with RCH (Rios, Clementi, Hale) in Los Angeles and Richard Fleischman in Cleveland. There is no problem with ego or proprietariness, it‘s just the bureaucracy makes it almost undesirable.
In Los Angeles my desire - we are still working it out - in Los Angeles there is a phenomenon where neighbourhoods would paint their sidewalks green to suggest grass and you get this great array of different greens. There is a building next to MoCA that is a music school and I am working with the architects to design the sixteen thousand square feet of really boring concrete space. So I would really like to bring in this idea of green space by using just painted squares of concrete. It‘s somewhat difficult for some reason. There are so many people weighing in on this project. I am also working on a project in Oslo with a firm called Snohetta. I‘m doing the stage curtain for their opera house, so I guess it‘s sort of a public project. But it was interesting when I was talking to them because they were really interested in inventing a colour, this idea that there is a colour which doesn‘t exist at this point.
HUO: That leads to my next question. I have been very struck and incredibly enthusiastic about this new piece of yours which I saw at Frieze, which is a kind of crumpled 2-D/3-D oscillation, however one would call it, and I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about this series and if there is a link to that Snohettas project.
PW: There is definitely a link. I was invited to be in the competition for the stage curtain and I became obsessed with this and I really had to win this curtain competition. At a meeting with the architects they confirmed the fact that anything could really be a curtain. I researched like everything in the world as a possibility of a curtain, but I kept going back to this idea of why couldn‘t a curtain be a heavy metal sculpture that just comes and goes. I started to think about the practicality that is already apparent in a theatre situation .......... process......... scanning it and.............. happened with the stage curtain. .........and then the landscape, and I think that was why Snohettas was drawn to it because there is landscape within that piece of architecture. So I was working on that process and I was very excited by this digital process and I just started to think about ............ . I have also been using my scanner as a photo studio, just with materials at hand in my studio, and rather than doing anything with the materials, making something with them, just scanning them before they get applied to a sculpture. And so this is kind of a nice sort of portrayal................. these kind of assemblages being woven andlayed out.
HUO: Is it collage? I was wondering about collage. I was speaking to Richard Prince the other day and suddenly there is so much collage around. The twentieth century was the collage century and is the twenty-first century still a collage century? Are your art pieces collages?
PW: I don‘t think they are because they only exist on the scanner. It‘s more of an assemblage; these things are placed on the scanner, scanned, and then they are removed. I think that ultimately my desire is that they have a trompe l‘oeil effect and when they are woven there is this sense of depth and illusion and false reflection.
HUO: So actually not a collage, they are one image.
PW: Exactly. And I found it very interesting that somebody would buy these! [Laughs] I don‘t know why. There is such a tough time with something that is seen as a textile; to buy [? sell] a textile on a wall, I think, is really a challenge. Personally I would buy it but it is interesting that there has been little success with them for collecting. Some of them I made as bedspreads and I really like the idea that the bed is an arena for art, not above the bed but the bed itself could be a place where art could happen. And you can dry clean it.
HUO: There is something also very fascinating, almost a paradox, about the materiality of it. It has an incredibly strong materiality yet it‘s somehow also about illusion, so it‘s about both. That creates almost an oxymoron.
PW: Yes. And even still it can be rolled up. This thing that seems as if it is crumpled in a very specific way is still ultimately flat. Also one of the things I think that‘s kind of nice and kind of horrific about making them is the idea that you can art-direct a piece of foil, that getting in there and having something like that behave is a very strange process.
HUO: It is also fascinating that you mention the studio. Bruno Latour in his actor-network theory talks about this idea that maybe in our digital age the studio becomes more like a network condition. Since the sixties there has been a lot of talk about post-studio practice, which was reactivated in the nineties. The studio still seems to play a very big role but maybe in a different way than it used to in previous centuries. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your studio, if it‘s a network condition or if it‘s a non-network condition, and if you have assistants and how your studio works.
PW: Well my studio seems to be more and more like an office and I don‘t know whether that‘s a phenomenon of the school that I went to, the Art Centre College in Pasadena.
HUO: Who were your teachers there?
PW: Steve Prina, Mike Kelley, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Patti Podesta and an array of visiting faculty. But it was an interesting situation because the School was unprepared to deal with the Fine Arts Department, so there was this moment where no-one was paying attention. As a consequence of that no-one really got a studio; you just got a desk. Not only that but the machinery was not open for fine artists; it was really set up for car design. It was really hostile in that way so I think students found other ways to produce work that didn‘t really involve traditional ways of making art with table saws. I think sitting on the computer became a more typical type of production for people coming out of Art Centre. I also come out of a background where I like to work with my hands and I really like that kind of romance of the material and I am really seduced by that, so I have to have a studio where that can always happen.
HUO: The physicality.
PW: Exactly. And I have an assistant who is much better at it than I am, so I can set up the situation and she interprets it and I am absolutely fine for the most part with what she interprets. And then I have fabricators in different parts of the world and there is always this kind of flexibility that one has to have, at least for me. I am interested in the interpretation; I am interested in something coming from Lithuania that‘s not exactly what I thought it was going to be. And that kind of a gesture and the piece becoming an archiving of that kind of a gesture, and letting my assistant do something for a week and then checking it, that kind of a thing. I‘m fine with that because I don‘t think my gesture is that great. I don‘t think it‘s anything that is more poetic or more profound than anything else, really. I have these different situations for different types of production but more often than not it‘s FedEx and email that gets a lot of time.
HUO: The studio as a FedEx/email situation is fascinating. That‘s a new definition. What‘s the role of the computer? You are here at a conference about the digital age and the current moment is defined by space, by all these new digital realities and avatars, we discussed over lunch. So what about that whole digital culture and your work? You‘re not an Internet artist, nevertheless in your very physical practice the digital is always there. It‘s about a presence and absence. Could you talk about this?
PW: I would like to get a studio assistant as an avatar. [Laughs] That would be fantastic. An assistant and a second life - but the real estate prices are so high now. Years ago I think I was really more on top of the technology aspect of art- making and in fact it came a lot in doing the books. I was completely self-taught and through becoming self-taught you have other types of finesse. There is still some residue of that but it‘s very cursory. I‘m very wary of Google research and what that can typically lead to, just how brittle that kind of research is. It‘s so restrictive. As a research tool I use the Internet but I try to be very careful to get lots of different engines and lots of different sources, or mis-spellings or misunderstandings, hoping that that research is richer. But in terms of the networking and technology I don‘t really have a facebook or a blog, or a website, for that matter.
HUO: It was a decision.
PW: The decision not to have a website is interesting. I often wonder how galleries feel about that; it‘s a funny situation because if somebody can go directly to an artist, what does that mean for the gallery in terms of projects and commissions and these situations? The oversight has changed. That‘s not why I‘m ambivalent about doing it, I just haven‘t had the time. thedomain.paewhite.com
HUO: You own the domain.
PW: Yes. It‘s pending. But it‘s such an interesting shift. I don‘t know if anyone‘s ever talked about when artists have their own website in a commercial sense. I know on Beat Streuli‘s website, the email goes directly to the gallery, so his website is a promotional piece, an archive, but you don‘t ever really get in touch with him directly.
HUO: Yes, what it means if it is going to the artists is very interesting. I never thought about that. What does it mean in terms of the relationship with the galleries?
PW: The galleries become less and less important. What does that mean?
HUO: The Internet made the book more important; it probably makes the gallery more important.
PW: [Laughs] Makes real life better, yes.
HUO: We thought it was the death of the book but now books are more important than ever.
Galleries are more important than ever anyway. I don‘t think it‘s the death of the galleries.
PW: Virtual reality is all about making life more significant.
HUO: One of the things I was interested in is the generation thing. I spoke a lot to Pierre Huyghe about this and he thinks in the nineties there was a lot of rupture with the eighties but there was also a continuum. He thinks the continuum is the ‘re‘: revisiting, recycling, reappropriating, which was a big thing in the eighties with the whole ...... generation and whole generation of appropriation. Pierre Huyghe was saying in the nineties the ‘re‘ phenomenon went from 2-D to 3-D, if you think about Cattelan‘s Hollywood sign and things like that. Nevertheless things are more complex, but I was wondering how you see that whole idea of the ‘re‘. Sir Joshua Reynolds, and that‘s quoted in a catalogue on Elaine Sturtevant, Sir Reynolds discusses imitation in his discourse of 1774; borrowing, gathering, depreciating, appropriating, assimilating, submitting to infection or contagions, all these issues. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that whole idea of ‘re‘ and the idea of the copy.
PW: I‘m not really sure. For me that really felt like something out of the eighties. I thought there was a decline of that in the nineties but in my own work I think there is some sort of an indirect reference but I don‘t really see any type of appropriation, anything that sets out deliberately to appropriate. I don‘t really find that interesting, ultimately. I would actually see something like that happening more now. I‘m not sure.
HUO: Time became more important in the nineties; at the same time there has been a lot of misunderstanding, also. Your practice and the practice of Jorge Pardo and Rirkrit has been read as some sort of service art, which I always thought was slightly strange because I don‘t really think it‘s a service, it‘s a bit reductive. I think there are also a lot of different connections in the nineties to the sixties and seventies. How would you see the nineties, then?
PW: In terms of my work that‘s interesting, service art. I wouldn‘t know, really, how - I have to think about that - I don‘t know if that‘s coming out of some sort of association with using the everyday or using something familiar or the applied arts. So maybe it comes out of something like that. I would feel that the service aspect of it maybe having a general interest in a retail scenario might have that kind of association. I think that‘s a mass reduction. I think with Jorge he wants to take over the world with his art and I am less interested in that. I am more interested in a moment or a poetic moment, something more intimate.
HUO: So you see it as more expansive?
PW: Well, you could see it as expansive [Laughs] or restrictive, but I think the ambition is very different. I see it as having ultimately more of an entrepreneurial thrust and I am much less interested in that and more interested in a smaller-scale experience. Even this book, in a way, is a smaller scale experience. Even though it seems like something coming from something very large and endless, for me it‘s all about the intimacy of an edition being carried around with you
[HUO conversation with another person]
HUO: We spoke about the nineties and one thing also is that in the nineties there was a link again to the sixties and seventies, which I thought was somehow part of our generation. We spoke about your references to your heroes in design but we haven‘t spoken so much about your art references when you started. I was wondering how you relate to conceptual art history and how you relate to the sixties and seventies at large.
PW: At large.
HUO: One finds, sometimes, art references in discussions of your work. Serra‘s Splash gets quoted, for example.
So it is interesting to hear from you who were your heroes, or what was oxygen in terms of art. It‘s many questions in one; it‘s a complex of questions.
PW: I don‘t know. Because this person was so immersed in the fifties and sixties and seventies, I may have to go back to the textile designer that I talked about before, Vera. I think her work really encapsulates a stylistic spirit of the time, but for me conceptually it‘s very interesting because I do like the idea that everything in the world has the potential to be reintroduced as an art piece, even if it‘s just a motif. I think that was pervasive, at least in design. I didn‘t really come at any of the conceptual work until the nineties, any of the sixties until the eighties or nineties, so I only have an overview but I just know that some of the work I really loved when I came across it; for instance, Hollis Frampton‘s film.
HUO: What was it about Hollis that struck you?
PW: Well, I think it goes back to Vera. I think A Poetic Justice is a very important film for me and I like the idea that one could art-direct in one‘s head for anything, that the potential was huge for a scenario. And like her textiles, anything had the potential, like a boundlessness, a relentlessness, and this was exciting to me. I wonder if there is an image in here of a project I did that came out of that. But it‘s not in here. I wish I had it here. But also something like - It‘s funny because I think of Chantel Akerman and I think of a film she did which was sort of endless and the way the space was made almost into a form through some sort of a suspended action. Those kinds of things I found very exciting and I think found it‘s way into some of these - maybe the mobile pieces, somehow.
HUO: It‘s a very interesting, unexpected answer.
PW: I am trying to think of what the pieces were that - I was recently at the Hirschhorn and there is an amazing Mark di Suvero piece that‘s outside. Something I had never seen was this ambiguous text - have you seen this piece? On the base there‘s a text like ‘As is yours‘. I‘m not sure if that‘s what it says, but at the very base there is this open cut out. All the structure of this big, heavy piece seems to land right at this point of the text. That‘s something I just saw recently; it wasn‘t even something I had a sense of from the sixties and it just seemed so contemporary.
HUO: And what about Warhol? You and Warhol, Warhol and you?
PW: Me and Warhol! [Laughs] I don‘t know. Maybe just in terms of everything having a potential
would be a possibility. I‘m not sure that I have a real Warhol connection. It was the first art I
remember really clearly seeing.
HUO: That would be in?
PW: That was in Pasadena Art Museum, which is now gone. I think maybe in1967.
HUO: Was Walter Hobbes there?
HUO: That‘s very interesting. So you are basically a child of the Walter Hobbes museum to some extent. I have interviewed Walter Hobbes and I always thought that Walter Hobbes moment with Pasadena is one of the great moments of museum history. I believe when great moments happen they do trigger, they are like a school. So maybe the Pasadena Museum was your first school, can one say?
PW: They had classes for children when Walter Hobbes was there and they were extraordinary. They were very ambitious projects like ‘make some architecture‘ or ‘make a banner‘, large- scale projects, and I thought that was fantastic.
HUO: Any other shows you remember from those heroic Pasadena years? The Duchamp show, maybe?
PW: I don‘t remember the Duchamp but I remember the Warhol and I remember there was some artist that made these huge - I don‘t even know who the artist was - but it was like a lollipop with no stick and they suspended these giant clear-coloured resin things in the space and I was ecstatic and that was at the same time as the Warhol show. But Pasadena was very interesting also; there was a huge tradition with Bruce Naumann and a lot of artists had studio spaces in Pasadena, too. It is interesting that Art Centre was so uninterested in a Fine Art Department for so many years; here‘s this great tradition in Pasadena and it took decades for Fine Art to take off.
HUO: We came to Walter Hobbes, who is the most eminent experimental visionary curator of the sixties. One of the things we haven‘t spoken about that I am interested in is you as a curator. The editing of your book is also a sort of curatorial activity. Have you curated shows and can you talk a little about your curatorial endeavours? Albright-Knox has something to do with that, doesn‘t it?
PW: I didn‘t curate but in many ways, yes, doing the book is a sort of curatorial situation, especially when you are given absolute freedom to lay it out in any way you want. I was there with the Albright-Knox. There were so many artists in the exhibition.
HUO: Extreme Obstruction?
PW: Extreme Obstruction. I was very interested in trying for a complete democracy of a hundred and ten artists and that no artist would be privileged over another and so I did this book with clear balance and right when it went to press they stepped in and put in this giant David Batchelor image that spread across two pages, so completely disrupted this position I had about this unilateral for democracy. So that was not really a success for me.
I curated a show when I was at Art Centre and the Schools at the time were CAL Arts, Art Centre and UCLA. This was in 1991. There was an assumed animosity, a competitiveness. An artist I was at school with, Jennifer Steincamp, and I curated a show at CAL Arts. We called it Lay Down Your Arms, assuming that there was this kind of a battle. That was the first show I curated and it was an interesting experience because we were looking at the work of our colleagues and deciding what was going to go in the show and what wasn‘t. In that sense it was kind of a (I‘m sorry, I‘m so distracted by all this coming and going) but it‘s an interesting position. It‘s as if you were to curate colleagues of yours and to eliminate some, so it reinforced the animosity that was already existing that we were trying to eradicate. That was the first show.
Then Jorge Pardo and I curated a show called Good Design Not Working in LA and what we decided to do was to go to artists‘ homes in Los Angeles and choose an object, not something they made, but choose a thing and then have anybody from anywhere in the world send us an art piece. In retrospect it‘s not that interesting as a concept but at the time it seemed quite radical to have no curatorial position in terms of the art, only in terms of the objects. For instance, Steve Prina had a wall in his apartment that was painted blue, so we put the wall in, we painted a blue wall. Maybe the most interesting object someone had was their ashtray, so we had this very nice back up of objects in Los Angeles that might resonate somehow and then art from anywhere that anybody cared to send in.
HUO: I think you did the catalogue for Maria Lind‘s exhibition, that incredible box.
PW: Yes. It‘s interesting to see that as curating. Curating layout decisions, maybe. So much determines how a book is going to look in its final form. My interest is always to go for fabric because I feel there‘s a seriousness; the one thing that keeps it out of the dollar bin is to have a hard cover with fabric. But frequently the most expensive thing in doing a book is the binding. It also takes time, so in the case of Maria Lind there really wasn‘t the budget to do a giant bound book. In addition to every aspect of the book being a poster, I was just very interested also in the idea that one could put an essay on the wall as a poster and the ephemera of the book, the publishing information, could be a poster and stuff that could be seen as throwaway could go up on the wall; a show could be exhibited in one‘s apartment. And something about having an intimate experience with things in a box.
HUO: I have almost reached the end of my questions. There is one thing we didn‘t address; I asked you before about your heroes, heroes is too strong a word, but positions from the past which are oxygen. We talked about the museum and Warhol and Vera and all sorts of other things came up. Your practice doing graphic design, art practice, all of that is something which happened a lot in the avant gardes of the early twentieth century. It was something Schwitters did; he had a graphic design activity as a parallel activity as well, something leading also to the Bauhaus. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the link to those avant gardes, because obviously they got revisited in the sixties. Benjamin Buchloh wrote thoroughly about how the sixties revisited the historical avant gardes, but not so much has been written about how the nineties revisited the historical avant gardes. I was curious how you feel about that.
PW: I was asked this recently, about my relationship to the Bauhaus, and my response was that I saw myself more coming out of the Jugenstiel, something more interesting. And for me it‘s not really about the practice of doing all these multiple things, but more that these things are an extension. It‘s not like ‘here is my design workshop and here is my paper mache and glue gun‘, it‘s all really the same type of production. It‘s not trying to be anything revolutionary; it‘s just making this art piece that‘s maybe entering a different type of arena. What‘s interesting to me about this kind of thing is that there‘s more of an ad infinitum potential for an audience. The audience can be in Mexico City and it can be in Dublin.
I am not sure if Bauhaus separated out this type of production but I know from within the way I work that it‘s part of the continuum. It‘s taking advantage of the assumptions of something that is already in the world, that already circulates in a very particular way, and maybe exploits that or takes advantage of the distribution aspects of that and that‘s what really interests me about this book stuff. It‘s what really interests me, the widespreadness. You walked in with this today and I was really impressed because this came out of New Zealand. This kind of thing just continues ad infinitum. That‘s what I think in terms of the Frieze project.
HUO: You mentioned the Frieze project and that is a very interesting example of the reverted, inverted relationship of print and exhibition, right?
PW: Yes. And I‘ll just explain a little bit. That was a project where this gallery that never advertises decided to take out a full page in Frieze on the condition that they could get this great place in the magazine, which was like the third or fourth page in, full colour and they just gave it to me, every issue, and said, ‘Do whatever you want‘. They said, ‘Don‘t feel like you have to do the gallery information. This is not necessarily advertising.‘ But I like that gallery information, it‘s raw material. And I like playing with that somehow and all those kinds of aspects, as filler. So these were never reproduced, they were never a portfolio edition or anything, just this exhibition in print. So if you lived in Tijuana and if you lived in New Jersey, in Columbus, Ohio, and you had these issues of Frieze, you had that show, you had that whole project. And this idea of the viewer; it‘s the same viewer as an art viewer at an exhibition but it‘s just happening simultaneously in different places. That kind of simultaneity and that kind of distribution, I think, is what is most interesting to me about working in this type of area. I don‘t think it is revolutionary but I think there is some sort of resonance and it isn‘t even a digital resonance, it‘s just this kind of idea of widespread art enthusiasm. And it‘s a testament to the publication, too, a testament to the circulation.
HUO: The interview started with this idea of testament and that is a marvellous conclusion. I just had a few questions to add. Dan Graham says you can‘t really understand an artist if you don‘t know what his or her favourite film is and what music he or she listens to, so I wondered what music you listen to and what is your favourite movie. It‘s the Dan Graham question.
PW: That‘s not fair! [Laughs]
PW: It‘s like asking me my favourite painting. This month my favourite "Oh, my God!" my favourite song, a song that always comes back to me is John Foxx‘s My Sex and my favourite movie [Pause] Jeanne Dielman.
HUO: Chantal Akerman.
PW: One of my favourite movies. But I‘m sure there‘s something like Bedazzled in there, Elizabeth Hurley.
HUO: Another question is, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a lovely letter with an advice to a young poet. What, in 2007, would be your advice to a young artist?
PW: Go to art school twice. [Laughs] Get a FedEx account.
HUO: How do you see the current moment? We are in 2007, we are here at this DLD conference
on the digital age. How do you see the moment?
PW: This is a completely distorted scenario. I think the worldwide application of something like this is so alienated and yet it‘s talking about pervasiveness. I can‘t lock into that. I don‘t pay too close attention to what the current market scenario is. I just try to stay focused on what I do. I keep my viewing to about thirty-forty percent and leave it at that, I guess. I don‘t know. It‘s a difficult question.
HUO: What is the role of writing in your practice? Are you writing?
PW: I write sometimes a little bit but only if there is teaching involved; not recently. Just notes on
my work for myself.
HUO: Thank you very much. A great interview.
Pae White Lisa, Bright & Dark
On overcast days in Los Angeles, there is a hazy feeling of general malaise and languid plodding, the sense that you haven‘t quite woken up yet. Growing up in Southern California, I remember feeling detached and alienated from the world around me on those daysï¿½typical teen angst feelings. And somehow the quality of the light really contributed to these moods. Sunny days were different, full of possibilities and promise. Some days had both of these qualities. That contrast of dark versus light and the tendency to experience both sides of these contradictory feelings likely had an effect on Pae White, who also grew up in Southern California.
In a city built around the magic of the movies, color and light have remarkable powers over our psyches; Los Angles thrives on invented realities. The very history of Southern California as a modernist Mecca was based on the notion that the environment (idyllic climate, growth and economic prosperity) allowed for the possibility of creating a utopian vision of life. However, this vision is and always has been an artificial construct. That superficiality is in turn emblematic of Los Angeles. Fascination with the darker underbelly of the idyllic glossy surface of LA‘s image has given it an equally notorious reputation for deceit and malevolenceï¿½played out perhaps most famously in the cinematic genre of film noir.
The contrasting idea of "bright" versus "dark" has a long history in the mythology of Los Angeles. Writer Mike Davis famously coined the term "Sunshine and Noir" in his seminal 1992 book City of Quartz, which explores the history of culture produced about Los Angeles. Davis looks to intellectualism and history in an attempt to define Los Angeles as a prime model of the late capitalist/ postmodern city. Davis writes:
The ultimate world-historic significance ï¿½and oddityï¿½of Los Angeles is that it has come to play the double role of utopia and dystopia for advance capitalism. The same place, as Brecht noted, symbolized both heaven and hellï¿½. Los Angelesï¿½far more than New York, Paris, Tokyoï¿½polarizes debate: it is the terrain and subject of fierce ideological struggle.
For White, interestingly, this dualistic struggle so commonly associated with her home town refers also to the complexities of the human psyche and the basic human propensity to swing between the "bright" and "dark" aspects of our natures. The title of the exhibition is taken from John Neufeld, Lisa, Bright and Dark (1969), a book that was somewhat of a phenomenon and played an important role at the time of its release for many teenage girls (White among them) seeking to understand themselves. In retrospect, for White now, the title represents the tone of that specific time in her life. Rather than referencing the literal story of Lisa Bright and Dark, she is interested in reminding people of the frame of mind it may have once inspired. For her, it is about conjuring an essence more than telling a specific story. The book‘s pervasive popularity among her peers and its emphasis on shared experience also hints at the universality of this tendency toward the bright and dark.
Giving the exhibition a title taken from another work of art, a book, further emphasizes the cohesion White has sought in this installation. Titles, for her, are "a poetic opportunity, something that can be confusing or something that can lead the viewer astray. Maybe it can un-totalize the viewing experience by eradicating what one might expect."
Like Joseph Beuys, White seeks what she calls an "artfulness" in everythingï¿½books, advertisements, objects like a shopping bag or perfume bottle, even exhibitions. She has a keen way of deconstructing or perhaps reconstructing the assumed forms of things. This present exhibition is an assembly of the fantastically broad range of her output; it is also a concise conceptual project that organizes the work into a holistic context ripe with meaningï¿½a singular artwork in and of itself. The notion of dichotomy has been carefully crafted into a schematic whereby two galleries play off one another. She has used the space of the museum to emphasize contrasting tendencies that permeate her work, giving the architecture a role in shaping the meaning of the project. Staging her work as a complex metaphor very subtly and cleverly allows the viewer the possibility of making broad connections among her diverse artworks, but in a discreet and indirect way.
This exhibition is literally and physically organized in two galleries, one "bright" and one "dark." These two spaces create contrasting environments in which to experience the work psychologically. In the "bright" gallery, White‘s abundant graphic design materials and functional objects fill the space and create the effect of what White has referred to as a "jewel box." One of her delicate paper tapestries adorns a wall, showcasing her adept sensibility and facility in combining bright colors and whimsical shapes. The walls also hold a selection of her "Web Samplers," made of actual spider webs (or architectural drawings, as she refers to them) collected, seemingly miraculously adhered intact to paper and decorated with colorful spray paint and metallic pigment. In a different yet related series, White created tableaus resembling patchwork quilts or samplers, using small different colored squares, each containing a delicate spider web section. The intricate craftsmanship that permeates all the work charms and invites viewers to marvel in the pleasure of discovering the meticulousness of the detailed fabrications and the poetry of White‘s inventive use of unlikely materials.
The larger gallery is the "darker" spaceï¿½a condition evoked literally through a shift in palette and lighting. As opposed to the unrestrained and frenzied colors in the "bright" gallery, the richly hued works in this space are also made of heavier materials such as bronze and cast iron. A quiet, meditative quality in this group of works elicits a more somber mood. Central to the tone of this space are specially fabricated tables with steel bases that support White‘s Plexiglas reflective "pools," created for this exhibition out of layers of mirrored and colored Plexiglas. The shimmering red "pools" cast haunting reflections on the gallery walls. Ironically, but certainly not coincidentally, the Plexiglas the artist used is called "Lisa Red" a nonstandard and rare color for Plexiglas. Contributing to a sense of the ephemeral are a number of White‘s woven tapestriesï¿½ traditional textiles depicting wafting plumes of smoke or aluminum foil that refer to one material‘sï¿½in this case cotton and polyesterï¿½attempt to represent the qualities of another. Also included in this space is Chromed Clouds with E-Birds, 2006, a sculpture of wire, magnets and confetti, suspended from the ceiling but appearing to float; the reference to clouds in the title contributes to the sense of fantasy in this make-believe landscape, an eerie reinvention of the natural world according to White‘s uniquely idiosyncratic vision.
On the museum‘s outer window and on all the glass surfaces in both galleries, White has installed a specially designed vinyl pattern that operates as a graphic element unifying the spaces of the exhibition. Greeting visitors as they enter the building, the vinyl on the front window subtly introduces them to the White‘s world and ties the specific discrete elements of the exhibition to the overall concept.
Through her art, White offers insights into ways in which the personal, individual and local become universal. At the core of this concept of commonality is an optimism not unlike the one she gleaned from the book Lisa, Bright and Dark as an adolescent. One might also argue that there is a parallel between White‘s very personal notion of bright and dark, which can be traced to the environment of her Southern California upbringing, that she brings to the larger world and the symbolic notion of Los Angeles as an emblem of the contemporary global city, a kind of "every city." Today, however, what Los Angeles itself represents does not really matter to White. It is significant perhaps only in that it served as the foundation for her orientation toward the world. Today, White is as much a citizen of Oslo, Munich or Bordeaux (all cities in which her work has recently been shown) as she is of Los Angeles. In this digital age, everyone is nomadic, networked and portable. White thrives on this condition, enjoying the aspects of global circulation and simultaneous distribution. Her work has become a medium through which she is able to forge connections between and across sensibilities and cultures, and to offer hope to her viewers through the everyday things we share.
 In addition to Mike Davis, many critical writers have famously identified Los Angeles as emblematic of late-capitalism or postmodernism. They include Jean Baudrillard, Fredrick Jameson and Norman M. Klein, to name a few.
 Mike Davis, City of Quartz (New York: Vintage, 1992), pp.18 ï¿½ 19; also see p. 20.