press release

Pae White seeks what she calls an "artfulness" in everything—books, advertisements, objects such as a shopping bag or perfume bottle, even exhibitions. She has a keen way of deconstructing or perhaps rethinking the assumed forms of things. This exhibition, an innovative approach to showcasing White's broad output, marks the first full-scale American museum exhibition of her art.

White titled this exhibition after a novel by John Neufeld, Lisa, Bright and Dark, 1969, Copyright SG Phillips. The book was somewhat of a phenomenon and played an important role at the time of its release for many teenagers (White among them) seeking to understand the "craziness" of the world around them. In retrospect, for White now, the title represents a specific and elusive tone of that specific time and place. Rather than referencing the literal story of Lisa, Bright and Dark, she is interested in using the book title as a device that can reference notions of confusion and inconsistency. For her, it is about conjuring an essence more than telling a specific story.

The 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. The "bright" gallery is like a jewel box. It is filled with White's ephemera: books, catalogues, posters, stickers, announcement cards as well as various small objects including perfume bottles and delicate glass spheres that contain bath water, one of many un-collectable things, White has collected over the years. The sparkling realm of bright colors and dynamic shapes evokes a playful sense of wonder. By contrast, in the "dark" gallery, the richly hued objects made of heavier materials such as cast iron elicit a quiet, meditative quality and a more somber mood. Woven tapestries hang among dramatically lit paper mobiles and ethereal hanging sculptures. Central to the tone of this space is Reflective Tables, 2008, one of White's "pools," created for this exhibition out of la yers of mirrored and colored Plexiglas. The shimmering "pool" acts as an extended reflective pedestal that anchors various objects from White's repertoire.

TOUR: Pae White: "Lisa, Bright & Dark" will travel to the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia where it will be on view from September 5 – November 2, 2009. The exhibition is available for travel from September 2008 – August 2009. To receive a full exhibition proposal packet please contact exhibition curator Cassandra Coblentz, 480-874-4637, or

PUBLICATION: Pae White: "Lisa, Bright & Dark" Available now The catalog accompanying this exhibition is the first major U.S. museum publication on Pae White's art, which is widely shown abroad. Designed by Juliette Bellocq in close consultation with White, it includes an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London, and texts by Cassandra Coblentz, implementing curator, and Marilu Knode, originating curator and now assistant director, F.A.R. [Future Arts Projects], Arizona State University, Tempe.

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Pae White
"Lisa, Bright & Dark"
Kurator Cassandra Coblentz