Tuesday, February 05, 2013

White Elephants

Today to my first watercolor class at the Boise Museum. I have been wanting to see these white elephants! They are made of fabric and stand life-size in the Sculpture Court. They are inflated and sort of soft. Standing by one is thrilling! The ones in front of the windows glow with transmitted light. I can't describe how much I want to spend more time with them.
There is a whole room exhibit of black, white and gray pieces by an Idaho artist called Troy Passey. It is called "Left Unsaid". If someone had described this exhibit to me it might not have sounded very interesting, but I was quite captured by it and plan to spend more time there. He's an artist who is an English major (like my husband and myself) with an MA! The work is on that kind of paper called vellum, I think. It has a very uniform sleek white surface. He works with only black and watered-down black. Sometimes there is a larger black shape on the white, sometimes just the lettering. The lettering is mostly small, and must be read with patience, because you don't see the writing at all on many of the pieces, although some are simply written like handmade signs at a rally. There are pieces of all sizes, from quite large to very small. They are framed, or like sculptures, and presented nicely on all the walls in the exhibit room. Mr. Passey has said he collects bits of text from reading, or from overhearing speech, or however.. . I found most compelling those  items that were textured with repeated text in very small, hand-inscribed lettering, that created a textile-like effect. If you looked very hard and read the title first. you could pick out bits of the text, but it wasn't really like reading, rather like something magical, like alchemy. The effect of the whole room was another aspect of the exhibit--you were immediately captured when you came through the door. Here is a short, hand-held (alas) video which shows the exhibit, but not enough of its mysterious power.
I never got to the main exhibit, but am going back every Tuesday this month for the class, so I can catch that later. The watercolor class was quite good, too. I LOVE art museums!
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