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pae white interview
pae white interview
watch pae white’s guided tour of her show
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Californian artist Pae White takes on Milton Keynes.

Is colour old-fashioned? Not for multimedia artist Pae White. In recent years the Los Angeles-based artist has become an influential name for a new generation of artists exploring colour and space. But like most things, the original is better than the copycats. In her pieces, colour blends and fades in and out like sun through the LA smog. White’s work is vibrant, varied and seems to literally glow.

Installation view and Some Kind Of Leone Story

Her latest show at MK-G in Milton Keynes (still bright fuchsia from Michael Craig Martin’s show) takes over three spacious rooms, and she attacks the space head on. The largest room holds two large hanging mobiles made of paper cutouts falling like make-and-do rose petals on invisible strings. They’re spaced around in chunks so that the viewer can wander into and be surrounded by the strands of colour. Also in this room is a series of different coloured paintings with painted real spiderwebs placed on them. The variety of colour and forms in both series is so extreme that they bring to mind the individuality of snowflakes - in White’s world the handmade plays with the natural.

Ship To Shore and installation view.

The middle gallery highlights another important aspect to Pae’s pieces – iridescence. The room is filled with three giant hanging tapestries which depict photographic collage-images and crumpled shining foil. It’s a fascinating exploration of an ignored medium where the everyday becomes iconic. But more than anything, what intrigues is how the foil exudes and warps colour - the last room is filled with handmade cages filled with random bits of daily detritus, which don’t resonate quite as much.

Walking through this exhibition is like stepping through a conceptual forest. There’s something so simple and experiential about the show: you don’t have to think too hard to get pleasure here.

Francesca Gavin 01 December 05
Pae White: In No Particular Order is at MK-G, Milton Keynes, until 22 January 06.
Read members' comments related to this feature.
Lovely show post 1
comment by Metrognome    Dec 16, 2005
I heartily recommend this show. MK-G is always well worth a visit, but this is the most immediately-enjoyable art I have seen there for a while. The clouds of coloured mobiles in the big gallery are ravisingly displayed, and the surrounding walls have gone deep blue to intensify the effect of the colours in space. Walking round them feels like being an extra in some enormous seasonal window display. I thought the gallery had gone all out for the 'retail experience' effect with shopping muzak, but that turned out to be the sound track of a piece of video art upstairs (where the festive theme continues with shots of soft toys going in and out of focus, but I didn't hang around for the full seven minutes odd to see what else the Mexican video artist in question had to offer).

The spider web paintings also in the big room were intriguing -- I wish the artist had gone into greater detail about how she managed those. The frosted bits looked very Christmassy!

The tapestries in the middle room were awesome, although they looked a bit flatter in the flesh than they did on the Collective interviews (which I had seen before my visit). The third room, with the 'bird cage' mobiles and the gorgeous reflecting panels on the floor looked fabulous.

What a great place to recover from trudging round the largest shopping centre in Western Europe (or whatever it is these days) in desperate pursuit of a copy of NBA Street 3 for my youngest....
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