Blank paper, the place artists and writers begin, is often overlooked as a medium unto itself. The seven artists in cut. paper. fold. make, tear, cut, fold, crumple, paint, sew, and burn paper, pushing its intrinsic qualities to create their visions. These artists take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.
Randy Garber, hearing impaired since infancy, combines a variety of techniques to create work that visualizes what she refers to as “the space between silence and sound.” In “Dimuendo”, she uses piano player rolls, letting the drape and fold of the paper create a visual rhythm. The holes in the piano rolls become the metaphor for sound. As she says, “The absence of paper indicates the presence of sound.” In “Echo”, stuffed and printed paper sewn in concentric circles suggests both the reverberations and the muffling of sound.
Fred Liang pulls from jian zhi, the traditional Chinese art of cut paper and Song Dynasty scroll paintings, to transform paper into delicately nuanced three-dimensional worlds that seem to breathe. His work bridges tradition and innovation, drawing on both Eastern and Western philosophy, noting their differences and finding areas of overlap.
Randal Thurston builds on the tradition of the silhouette. Fascinated with contour, he focuses on cut paper whose believability as representations of things rests solely on his ability to accurately summarize their identities through a solitary outline. He creates site-specific installations. In this case, responding to the architecture of Concord Art’s John Ball House, he has created a work that bridges time—an echo of the real world that allows us to better understand what was and what is.
Interested in the intersections of science, technology, and the natural world, and in the notion of collection and consumption, Michelle Samour makes, cuts, and manipulates paper to create two- and three-dimensional worlds that explore the use of light and the lens—the physiological eye, computer monitor, or microscopic slide—as a means for seeing.
Erik and Martin Demaine, father and son working together at M.I.T, meld art and science—marrying paper, glass and mathematics to create swirling sculptural forms and gestural, burned-line drawings. The sculptures are at once elegantly simple and beautifully complex, the resulting shapes of folded, curved creases that remain a mathematical puzzle. Pouring and dribbling molten glass onto water-soaked paper, the drawings that emerge are at once gestural and formal like fine handwriting.
Adria Arch cuts painted paper, collaging pieces together, all owing the gesture of the painting to emerge. These surprising and wonderful compositions evoke stories of “humans or animals navigatingtheir worlds as best they can with humor and perseverance.”
Remmi Franklin uses cut paper to play one color against another, creating perceptual challenges that stretch viewers’ expectations. Her aerial images evolved from an exploration of collage. Delving deep into the nature of cut and manipulated paper, she combines her love of land and sea with a challenge to see something familiar in a new way.
Each of these artists pushes the boundaries of the medium. Paper, old as civilization itself, inspires contemporary and conceptual work that is thoughtful, eloquent, and elegant.
– Ilana Manolson and Susanah Howland, Curators
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