The Christopher Henry Gallery is pleased to present Tourist, its first solo exhibition of cut paper artist Thomas Witte.
Using cut paper to depict the everyday world caught in the lens of a camera, Witte strips the photograph of much of its subjectivity, leaving behind a more pure, universal and atemporal distillate. The artist’s manipulation of paper is a transformative act – the material, or absence of it, become the major components of the artist’s narrative framework revealing the mystery and beauty of pure form. 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.
Witte reveals a fragile connection between the physical and spiritual world – the delicate connections of paper serve as an analogy to the delicate remnants of recollection. Simplified and iconic, the intangibility of memory is made tangible. Witte lifts the photos beyond a sole connection to a specific time and place and transforms them into meaningful objects of remembrance. Rather than give in to photography’s deceptive impression of reality the artist isolates the truth and introduces the viewer to a new imagistic and suggestive world that invites reflection on what we need to remember from those who preceded us, what we wish to pass on to the future, and why we need to do so.