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Focusing on themes of the forgotten, fleeting, and ephemeral, Pae White (b. 1963) blurs the traditional boundaries between the fine and applied arts, architecture, and design in her prolific oeuvre. Whether in the form of sculptures, tapestries, site-specific installations, animations, or paintings, White’s works subvert viewers’ expected relationships to familiar objects and spaces while endowing the ordinary with a sense of grandeur and permanence. In Nighthawker (2020), she constructs elaborately textured patterns from paper clay that span the entirety of the painting’s wood support, only to be covered with a shimmering jewel-toned car lacquer that transforms the familiar into something otherworldly. The combination of immensely intricate details with the uniform treatment of the surface in cosmic shades of purple, green, gold, and blue creates a composition reminiscent of an aerial perspective onto a future unknown world or even an abstract interpretation of celestial space.
Photo: Enrico Fiorese