Aug 29, 2015

by Lili Wei

Kathleen White 
(A) Rake’s Progress
August 8 -31, 2014
Momenta Art

Kathleen White’s recent exhibition was a poignant installation of sound and color, of elliptical narrative and ephemeral, delicate theatricality. Curated by Rafael Sánchez, it consisted of a full spectrum of richly worked pastels, appearing more or less monochromatic, although many are layered and other colors lurk beneath or break the surface. Sketchbook-sized, the 71 “polymorphichromes” formed a steady processional around the gallery wall. They were made in the artist’s garden in the summer of 2009 and numbered and mounted in the order they were made. There was also a video of the garden in winter, the snow stained with brilliant colors to conjure the absent foliage. In addition, there was an abstraction in grisaille that suggested a chest X-ray and a soundtrack of the artist typing.  Called “(A) Rake’s Progress” after the famous 18th century William Hogarth paintings, it seemed more about memory than morality, dedicated to White’s brother, who committed suicide in 2007. Meditating on presence (the works on paper) and absence (the unfilled, paint-splattered Givenchy shoes, the powdered white outline of a square), it is time (in abeyance: a suspended rake; a stilled pendulum and in motion: the sound of typing) that measures the distance between them. 

Lili Wei

article originally published 
ARTnews, November, 2014

photo: Kikuko Tanaka