The Christopher Henry Gallery is pleased to present A Cut Above: 12 Paper Masters, a group exhibition celebrating the renaissance of cut paper as an artistic medium. The exhibition features 12 international artists who choose to draw with a knife, saw or scissors as an integral part of their practice. A timely show, it responds to widespread current debates surrounding the use of cut paper and books in contemporary artistic practice, exploring the work of 12 artists engaged in paper manipulation. Individually, these artists are praised for their distinctive techniques and approach to working in this medium. As a collective, A Cut Above provides an insight into how the medium has gained traction on the international art stage and presents a broad spectrum of works by emerging and established artists from the United States and abroad, some exhibiting in New York for the first time.
The artist’s manipulation of paper is a transformative act – rather than simply drawing and painting on the surface, the material itself becomes the key, if not sole, component of the artist’s expression of emotions and narratives. The meticulous act of cutting might suggest an obsessive tendency with an undertone of brutality but the end result is a graceful, often ethereal, arabesque of positive and negative space. Underpinning the material importance of paper A Cut Above highlights the shifting use of cut paper from a peripheral “decorative” medium, to an art form that transcends the boundaries between craft, design and fine art. The exhibition engages with broader contemporary concerns: for example, the world’s depleting natural resources, the death of the book and our increased reliance on an unfiltered “virtual sphere” in a consumer-driven, digital age. A possible reaction against the acute influence of current digital technologies on art, this renewed enthusiasm for cut paper and books brings the focus back to the artist as maker and satisfies our very human desire for the authentic, the original and the hand-crafted.
Exhibiting Artists: Hina Aoyama (b. Japan), Jaq Belcher (b. Australia), Doug Beube (b. Canada), Zoe Bradley (b.UK), Brian Dettmer (b. USA), Danielle Durchslag (b. USA), Adam Fowler (b. USA), Chris Gilmour (b.UK), Dylan Graham (b. New Zealand), Guy Laramée (b. Canada), Pablo Lehmann (b. Argentina), and Thomas Witte (b. USA)