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This October, 'Slash: Paper Under the Kinfe' Showcases Work by over 50 Artists Who Cut, Burn, tear and Shread Paper to Create Compelling Sculpture, Installation, and Video

Special Visitor Preview, Starting October 7, Invites Public to Watch Artists Install Site-Specific Works in Galleries and in MAD’s Lobby

On View Through April 4, 2010, Exhibition Features Works by Contemporary Artists Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Tom Friedman and Kara Walker, Among Others

New York, NY (September 14, 2009)

Slash: Paper Under the Knife explores the international phenomenon of cut paper in contemporary art—showcasing the work of artists who reach beyond the traditional role of paper as a neutral surface to consider its potential as a medium for provocative, expressive, and visually striking sculpture, installation, and video animation. Organized by the Museum of Arts and Design, Slash features 12 new site-specific installations and other new and recent work by over 50 contemporary artists from around the world, including Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Tom Friedman, Nina Katchadourian, Judy Pfaff, and Kara Walker, among others.

A special weeklong Visitor Preview of Slash, starting October 7, will invite museum visitors to watch the creative process as six Slash artists install their site-specific installations during regular museum hours. Andreas Kocks, Celio Braga, Michael Velliquette, Tomas Rivas, and Mark Fox will install and assemble their new commissions in the Museum’s 4th and 5th floor galleries. Andrea Mastrovito will hang his massive paper installation, depicting a storm seizing Christopher Columbus’s ship, from the ceiling of MAD’s lobby, visible to all visitors passing through the Museum and from the street.

The completed exhibition will be on view from October 14, 2009 through April 4, 2010. A Press Preview with participating artists and museum leadership will be held on Thursday, October 8, from 10:00am to 12:00noon.

“Whether it be through our open studio programs or our digital interactives, our focus at the Museum of Arts and Design is on connecting artists and our audiences in new ways,” said Holly Hotchner, the museum’s Nanette L. Laitman Director.  “This special Visitor Preview of Slash invites the public to watch these visionary artists as they install their work, a process that is usually kept behind the scenes. We hope this special viewing will provide our visitors with a new appreciation for the creative process and will help bring to life the works on view.”

Organized by the Museum’s Chief Curator, David Revere McFadden, Slash is the third exhibition in MAD's Materials and Process series, which examines the renaissance of traditional handcraft materials and techniques in contemporary art and design. Previous installments in the series include Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting (2007) and Pricked: Extreme Embroidery (2008). Slash: Paper under the Knife is made possible by Kate’s Paperie. Generous additional support is provided by the Angelica Berrie Foundation.

Slash presents a range of subjects that artists across the world are exploring through cut paper, such as landscape, the human body, architecture, politics, and language. The processes and techniques used in these investigations include burning, tearing, perforating, and shredding paper as well as cutting with knives, scissors, and lasers. Some artists work slowly, cutting intricate designs with painstaking patience, while others slash and crumple with performative energy.

“Looking at traditional mediums and techniques through the lens of contemporary art, Slash showcases artists whose works surprise for their complexity and content, and not just for their technical virtuosity,” states McFadden. “Slash takes the pulse of the international art world's renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration. The exhibition places this phenomenon in a global context, including work by artists from 16 countries and representing five continents.”

“Kate’s Paperie is delighted to support the Museum of Arts and Design’s exhibition―a remarkable presentation of works solely made out of paper," said Angelica Berrie, owner of Kate’s Paperie and President of The Russell Berrie Foundation. "As a company that strives to continuously encourage innovation, creativity and artistry, Kate’s Paperie’s support of the Museum and this exhibition is a natural partnership."

Exhibition Highlights
Organized thematically, Slash examines how paper can inspire new investigation into concepts that have long concerned artists from around the world, ranging from explorations of the human condition to the nature of three-dimensional space. The exhibition will include the following eight groupings:

Cutting as Gesture: Drawing with the Knife
The majority of artists in this section come to paper after working in painting, drawing, and engraving and have seized upon paper cutting as a means of making drawings three-dimensional. Featured artists include:
• German artist Andreas Kocks, who will install his site-specific work during the Visitor Preview week, a massive explosion of black paper that captures the dynamism of wet paint thrown violently against a wall;
Adam Fowler of New York, who is represented by a complex three-dimensional drawing consisting of dozens of individual sheets of paper from which all the ground has been cut away, preserving only the drawn lines.

Cutting as Topography: Exploring Landscape
Several artists in Slash use cut and altered paper to explore landscapes, both real and imagined. These works propose surprising and fictitious places, alter and distort maps to eradicate function,
or create otherworldly three-dimensional geographies. Featured artists include;
• British artist Chris Kenny, who has created a new, fictional city, from deconstructed maps;
• French-born artist Beatrice Coron, who presents her ambitious vistas of Heavens and Hells, which she created on-site during a three-week residence in MAD’s Open Studios this past June.

Structure and Space: Slicing Architecture
Paper has long been used to make models and architectural maquettes. This section features works that explore new possibilities in the interrelationship between flat paper, three-dimensional space, and the built environment. Featured artists include:
Olafur Eliasson, whose limited-edition book Your House is a laser-cut negative impression of Eliasson’s own house in Copenhagen, Denmark. As readers leaf through the pages, they slowly make their way through the rooms of the house from front to back.
Tomás Rivas, from Chile, who carves ordinary sheetrock into classical architectural ornaments and trim. For Slash, he has created his most ambitious piece: a rendering of Baroque artist Andrea Pozzo’s dramatic trompe l’oeil Apotheosis of St. Ignatius, painted on the ceiling of Sant’Ignazio church in Rome.
• German artist Thomas Demand builds highly realistic full-scale environments of cut and folded paper objects which he then photographs. The model of his environment is destroyed and only the large-scale photographic print remains as the final document.

Corporeal Concerns: Revealing the Body
Many artists have used paper as a metaphor for the skin that covers the human body. Featured artists include:
• German-born artist Oliver Herring, who has created a life-size, 3-D portrait of a friend constructed of hundreds of close-up photographic images of his subject’s body; these are printed and cut into small fragments and painstakingly reassembled over a three-dimensional body.

Dissecting the Past: Myths and Memories
Artists in this grouping invoke the primary use of paper as a record of our histories, thoughts, concerns, and aspirations. Featured artists include:
• American artist Nava Lubelski, who shreds personal documents—letters, receipts, ticket stubs, Post-It notes—and rolls them into small bundles that resemble the cross-sections of a tree. For Slash, Lubelski, has created a new work called Crush, made of five years worth of personal documentation of an individual’s “coming out” as a gay man;
• Brazilian-born Célio Braga, who will assemble his site-specific installation during the Visitor Preview week, has created a floor-to-ceiling wall of memorial wreaths and garlands comprised of thousands of small flowers cut from the instructions that have accompanied the prescription drugs used by the artist’s family and friends. The work is a poignant tribute to all of the illnesses—from hay fever to AIDS—that have intersected with the artist’s life.

Shredding the Word: Books and Language
The artists in this section respond to paper as a carrier of the written word, using their knives and scissors to modify, subvert, or celebrate the text printed on a page. Featured artists include:
• Scottish artist Georgia Russell, who presents a shredded Gombrich’s The Story of Art, flaying its pages and preserving it under a glass bubble, like a taxidermy specimen.
• British artist Su Blackwell, who elicits childhood memories of favorite readings, as she cuts up old books, turning them into delicate and fragile three-dimensional dreamscapes. For Slash, Blackwell has transformed the pages of Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

Culture Clashes: Politics on the Edge
Several of the artists in Slash make use of their chosen medium to express their political views. Provocative and powerful, paper serves as the voice for personal concerns and aspirations.

Featured artists include:
Pietro Ruffo, who addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his work Youth of the Hills, modeled on a military tank and covered with Hebrew prayers cut in the form of desert beetles.
• American artist Ariana Boussard-Reifel, who undermines the text of a white supremacist manual by cutting out every single word and turning the book into a heap of meaningless letters.

The Moving Image: Paper and Action
A special feature of Slash is a series of animated films that use paper silhouettes and stop-action photography. Featured artists include:
• British artist Rob Carter’s work employs video animation and photographic ‘re-constructions’ that exploit the theatricality of architecture and landscape. He has created a film about the building of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for Slash, showing the structure’s physical evolution over time.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will organize artist demonstrations in its Open Studios, residences, workshops, lectures, and screenings of videos of artist’s at work, as well as programs for children and families. Programs include:
Gallery Night with the Artists on October 15, an evening of personal tours of the exhibition given by Chief Curator David McFadden and artists whose work is featured in Slash
• An afternoon of artist interaction in the Open Studios, October 17, where Slash artist Mia Perlman demonstrates her techniques as she transforms ordinary paper into inspiring cloud-like sculptures, October 17
• A screening of Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 cut animation classic film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, on October 29, presented with live music by Donald Sosin
• An afternoon of hands-on creativity in the Museum’s classroom with a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration on October 31.

Many programs will be made available on-line as well as on-site.

Slash: Paper under the Knife is made possible by Kate’s Paperie. Generous additional support is provided by the Angelica Berrie Foundation.

This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam. Additional support is provided by the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel and the Dutch Consulate General.

Slash: Paper Under the Knife will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication that includes a foreword by Museum Director Holly Hotchner and an essay by David Revere McFadden, the exhibition’s organizing curator. The essay examines the international renaissance of interest in cut paper as an art form today, and the work of over 50 artists from North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Color images of works by each artist, and artists’ biographies and statements will be included. The volume is published and distributed internationally by 5 Continents Editions in Italy.

For over 20 years, Kate's Paperie has been a resource for beautiful papers from around the world providing customers with creative inspiration and the tools to bring their ideas to life. Kate’s Paperie stocks over 4,000 papers from more than 40 countries, and other related items including gift wrap, journals, artisanal greeting cards, desk accessories, photo albums, frames, boxed stationery, and a selection of over 1,500 ribbons.

Kate’s Paperie’s handmade boxes can be created from nearly any of the papers carried in the store and most of the products carried in the store can be customized including engraving, embossing, thermography, and letterpress printing, to world-famous gift wrapping services, unique corporate gifts, and individual design consultations. Kate’s Paperie products and services are available worldwide through in addition to five retail locations; four in New York City and one in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Museum of Arts and Design explores how craftsmanship, art, and design intersect in the visual arts today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the handmade to cutting edge technologies.

The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by creative and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day.

At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft and design are held in a renovated 150-seat auditorium.


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