Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slash: Paper Under the Knife, International Paper Art Exhibition

I've always been interested in and amazed by the art that people create with paper. The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has had some brilliant exhibits and its current show is called Slash: Paper Under the Knife. The exhibit runs through April 14, 2010.

The artists are international and the techniques are delightfully varied. The types of paper as well as the techniques used are often as meaningful as the finished works themselves. (Image to left by Andrea Dezsö)

Image at right is Célio Braga's Placebos. These garlands were cut from the papers that come from prescription drugs. From Braga's web site:

"I use a variety of techniques involving a constant process of cutting, perforating, rearranging, assembling, destroying and mending
papers, textiles, wax and photographs. The works are often bold and melodramatic, sometimes silent, but always in searching of a balance between excess and austerity."

When you tear up that old love letter, that parking ticket, that photo of the damned so-and-so....

Consider taking back some power over some of tons of paper in our lives, that rejection note, that 'good luck in the future' letter or anything that unfortunately says your test results are positive. Next time why not consider slaying it as it tries to slay us?

There are personal rituals that involve paper. Tearing, discarding or safely burning paper has been a part of certain rituals for a long time. When would you create art from the paper vs. burn it vs toss it into the winds?

Artist Oliver Herring has created Alex, a sculpture out of digital c-print photographs, museum board, foam core, and polystyrene. The subject was photographed, the photos cut up and then reworked like an almost kaleidoscopic puzzle of the original subject to create the sculpture.  Herring has done other works such as Wade.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has an archived interview in their group of podcasts available on MP3. It's called A Conversation with Oliver Herring and is from 2007.

Carlos Amorales' Black Cloud is actually an installation piece consisting of moths, but as a large group, it has a plague-like, ominous quality. It's a swarm. An April 2008 edition of ArtBlog has a very good article on the piece.

Andrea Dezso's Tunnel Books are part of the exhibit and were featured this month at the museum. Her work is intricate and enthralling and many tell stories. (see top of page)

At the gallery's web site, I like to download the Teacher Resource Packet. A lot of galleries kindly make them available to the general online public and they're very informative and thought provoking. It's worth a visit to the site even if you can't make it to the actual exhibition.

Images from the artists' respective web sites, links given

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