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kaufmann repetto presents Pae White's seventh solo exhibition at the gallery
attractive nuisance, 2022. Installation view, kaufmann repetto Milan.



MILAN.- kaufmann repetto is presenting Pae White’s seventh solo exhibition at the gallery demonstrating the artist’s ongoing exploration of diverse materials, techniques, and technologies, and for this exhibition, the medium of clay and its broad range of applications.

Intrigued by the phrase “Attractive Nuisance,” – a legal term used to reference a property that is so seductive it becomes dangerous to the public – White considers the nuances of excessive beauty and leans into seduction and attraction. Beauty, as well as objects of desire, manifests itself in several different sculptural forms that investigate the depth and chaos of iridescence throughout this exhibition.




Desire is by nature unattainable, a tension that is evinced in Pae White’s recent ceramic works. Throughout the gallery, a series of elusively colored serpent-like forms are placed above the viewer’s eyesight throughout the gallery, creating a forest of tall pedestals which the sculptures reside atop. Just within the viewer’s line of visibility, these coiled figures flash their intricately patterned and brilliant, kaleidoscopic undersides, creating a symphonic spectrum. The serpentine forms reveal themselves in parts as you walk around the gallery and can never be fully seen (exploring the sense of simultaneous desire and frustration…). As the serpents offer glimpses of visceral colors, attracting the viewer, they refuse to be visible in entirety, becoming something of an attractive nuisance themselves. The serpent has functioned in visual history as a symbol for renewal, rebirth, medicine, immortality. The serpent is also associated with its’ poison; it is a creature inherently full of juxtaposition.

A continuation of her greater practice, the artist honors the interior lives of animals and creatures, who have the potential to be as unknowable as White’s restless colors which resist stasis or adhering to a clear and fixed palette. These colors are visible in the intricately patterned wall-mounted clay works installed in a sparkling, brilliant rainbow spectrum. These works are ceramic finished with a surfacing technology that is generally applied to more industrial or automotive industries. “I was searching for a color that was beyond iridescent -something hyper-iridescent that it might even feel like it was from another time or another place. I wanted a color that could never be resolved and always changed with the slightest movement of the viewer, thus creating a partnership or a bond between viewer and artwork.”

The pattern behavior in these works emerged from the artist’s research on woven baskets such as those made by Japanese masters as well as artists such as Ed Rossbach. Rather than using the tools commonly associated with ceramics, White’s imprints are borrowed from alternative sources such as objects found at 99 cents stores, allowing for these works to be unbound by their medium. This predilection for inversion is not uncommon for White, who, across mediums, juxtaposes and undermines the way viewer’s typically read and engage with her artworks. The works are illuminated by an interconnected light sculpture whose form also invokes a sense of “woven-ness” which is contemplated in the ceramic wall pieces’ patterning. The light sculpture, who serves to illuminate these iridescent ceramics (which reflect in playful gestures when lit), is born out of need and practicality, a nod to White’s interest in methods typically associated with craft. White’s admiration for “craft” and practicality in visual art stems from its’ directness with humanity. The ceramic’s need for light, is heard and served by the suspended sculpture, further addressing this sense of “woven-ness” across mediums throughout the exhibition.

Suspended in one gallery, are free hanging textile pieces made up of crab parts and paint. The crabs were collected by the artist from the rugged coastal landscape of Northern California. Strung up by threads like scientific specimens they float in their colorful frames. A continuation of White’s practice, this exhibition sees the handmade combined with the technical, and everyday motifs and objects redesigned by means of complex fabrication processes. Alike in much of her work, natural forms meet technological ones which shift preconceived codes and promote an expansive experience.










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