Art & Art History
The Paper Sculpture Show
Artists: Fred Tomaselli, Janine Antoni, The Art Guys, David Brody, Luca Buvoli, Francis Cape and Liza Phillips, Minerva Cuevas, Seong Chun, E.V. Day, Nicole Eisenman, Spencer Finch, Charles Goldman, Rachel Harrison, Stephen Hendee, Patrick Killoran, Glenn Ligon, Cildo Meireles, Helen Mirra, Aric Obrosey, Ester Partegàs, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Akiko Sakaizumi, David Shrigley, Eve Sussman, Sarah Sze, Pablo Vargas Lugo, Chris Ware, Olav Westphalen, and Allan Wexler
The Paper Sculpture Show is a traveling interactive exhibition organized by Independent Curators International in collaboration with the SculptureCenter and Cabinet magazine. Curated by SculptureCenter Director Mary Ceruti, artist Matt Freedman, and Cabinet magazine Editor-in-Chief Sina Najafi, The Paper Sculpture Show invites artists and audiences to explore the realm between two- and three-dimensional art in a new and inventive way.
Twenty-nine artists were asked to design paper sculptures to be cut out and assembled using very basic materials. Each project is displayed in stacks within the exhibit designed by artist Allan Wexler. Visitors are encouraged to “complete the artworks” by cutting out and assembling the sculptures of their choice. The visitors ’ creations will remain in the gallery after they leave, resulting in an exhibition that will grow and change throughout its duration. Subsequent visitors have the opportunity to see multiple versions of the same piece, each made unique by the hand of its fabricator.
Ephemeral yet valuable, technologically simple yet conceptually rich, paper is uniquely able to absorb and preserve the marks, both physical and immaterial, of the people—in this case, both artists and participating audience members—through whose hands it has passed.
In blurring the distinction between the audience and the artists, this exhibition poses a number of questions. At what point is a work of art complete? Who is the author of an object imagined by one person and completed by another? What is the relationship between two-dimensional image and three-dimensional object, instruction and inspiration, originality and repetition, mass production and the handmade? Where do we locate failure or success in a project like this? The open-ended nature of these questions and the answers they provoke results in the staggeringly wide range of art projects included in the exhibition. Folded, cut, crumpled, and even burned, paper proves itself to be a generous host capable of accommodating sculptures inspired by cultural examples as diverse as paper-doll books, Mad magazine “fold-ins,” and exploded schematic diagrams. Using only this humble material, which is ubiquitous to the point of invisibility in everyday life, the artists in The Paper Sculpture Show offer a visually stunning, conceptually rich, and playfully hands-on exploration of artistic practice today. Ephemeral yet valuable, technologically simple yet conceptually rich, paper is uniquely able to absorb and preserve the marks, both physical and immaterial, of the people—in this case, both artists and participating audience members—through whose hands it has passed.
The exhibition traveled to more than eleven venues over two years, including the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; DiverseWorks, Houston, TX; Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA; Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN; Salina Art Center, Salina, KS; Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO.
The Paper Sculpture Book was published on the occasion of the exhibition and includes the artists ’ projects, an introduction by the curators, and an essay by Frances Richard. The book includes all twenty-nine of the artists ’ projects on perforated pages.
The Paper Sculpture Show is presented concurrently with POSTChicago: Projects April 2003 – April 2004.
- Cabinet magazine
- Independent Curators International
POSTChicago: Projects April 2003 – April 2004
The Art Guys
Paper Stunts, 2003
Rental Truck Camera Obscura, 2003
Pop-Up #16 for: Flying-Practical Training for Beginners, 2003
Francis Cape and Liza Phillips
No. 7, 2003
Homemade MVC Student ID Card, 2003
Sex, Bugs, and Rock and Roll, 2003
Witch Hunt, 2003
Untitled (Samuel Beckett), 2003
Night in Day, 2003
Straws and Spitballs, 2003
Binding Sites, 2003
Disposable Watches, 2003
Pictures at an Exhibition, 2003
From Plane to Line, From Plane to Space, 2003
Paper Work Glove, Recto Verso, 2003
Things You Don’t Like, 2003
Paul Ramirez Jonas
The Paper Sculpture, 2003
Goggles for Kaleidoscope Eyes, 2003
Coffee Cup, 2003
Guide for Spring Molt and Courtship Display, 2003
Pablo Vargas Lugo
Infinite Compassion, 2003
Paper Dolls, 2003
How Much Is Not Enough?, 2003
Modular Exhibit Design, 2003
Wood, screws, self-healing cutting mat, Polaroid camera, chopsticks, laminating machine, glue, rubber cement, thumbtacks, toothpicks, pen, tape, hole punch, rubber bands, scissors, straight edge, x-acto knife, matches, and push pins
Mary Ceruti currently acts as SculptureCenter’s Chief Curator. ??She has organized numerous solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art and curated special projects and commissions by over 50 emerging and established artists. Before joining SculptureCenter in 1999, Mary worked as an independent curator and writer and was the Director of Programs at Capp Street Project, an acclaimed international residency program, commissioning installation projects in San Francisco from 1992 to 1998. She started her career as a Curatorial Assistant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ceruti holds a BA in Philosophy from Haverford College and a BA in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. She received an MA from the Inter-Arts Center at San Francisco State University after pursuing an in-depth study of community-based public art projects.
Matt Freedman is a sculptor, performer, writer, and curator. He has taught at University of Iowa, Parsons the New School for Design, The Pratt Institute, and The Rhode Island School of Design. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at Pierogi Gallery, vertexlist, Flipside, Fivemyles, The SculptureCenter, and Long Island University. Freedman has performed at MoMA/PS1, The Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn Academy of Music at Fivemyles, and Galapagos Performance Space. He has curated projects at SculptureCenter, the Long Island University outdoor sculpture exhibition, and MoMA/PS1. Matt Freedman received a BA from Harvard University and an MA and MFA from University of Iowa.
Sina Najafi is the editor-in-chief of New York-based Cabinet magazine. Najafi has also curated a number of art-related exhibitions, including Philosophical Toys, Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates, and The Paper Sculpture Show.
The Paper Sculpture Book:
A Complete Exhibition in a Book with 29 Buildable Sculptures
Catalogue introduction by Mary Ceruti, Matt Freedman, and Sina Najafi, curators,
and essay by Frances Richard
Cabinet, Independent Curators International, SculptureCenter, 2003
160 pp., 9.75 x 13.25 in., with color reproductions
This catalogue can be purchased for $29.95 plus shipping by calling Gallery 400 at 312-996-6114.
The Paper Sculpture Show
January 13–February 28, 2003
Opening Reception: January 14, 2003, 4-7pm
In this fully interactive exhibition, audiences and artists explore the realm between two- and three-dimensional art in a new and inventive way. Visitors will actually construct the paper sculptures from the sheets printed with the artists ’ instructions and designs.
Drawing on cultural paradigms as diverse as paper-doll books, Mad magazine “fold-ins,” and exploded schematic diagrams, the artists in The Paper Sculpture Show offer a visually stunning and conceptually rich hands-on exploration of the diversity of artistic practice today. Ephemeral yet valuable, technologically simple yet conceptually rich, paper is uniquely able to absorb and preserve the marks, both physical and immaterial, of the people—in this case, both artists and participating audience members—through whose hands it has passed.
Janine Antoni, The Art Guys, David Brody, Luca Buvoli, Francis Cape and Liza Phillips, Minerva Cuevas, Seong Chun, E.V. Day, Nicole Eisenman, Spencer Finch, Charles Goldman, Rachel Harrison, Stephen Hendee, Patrick Killoran, Glenn Ligon, Cildo Meireles, Helen Mirra, Aric Obrosey, Ester Partegas, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Akiko Sakaizumi, David Shrigley, Eve Sussman, Sarah Sze, Fred Tomaselli, Pablo Vargas Lugo, Chris Ware, Olav Westphalen, and Allan Wexler (exhibit design, included in the book)
Cotter, Holland. “The Paper Sculpture Show.” The New York Times, Sep. 12, 2003.
Hoffman, Leslie. “Paper Sculpture Show is Work in Progress.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 4, 2003.
The Paper Sculpture Show is supported by the College of Architecture and the Arts, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was organized by Cabinet magazine, Independent Curators International (ICI), and SculptureCenter. The traveling exhibition was organized and circulated by Independent Curators International. The exhibition and its accompanying publication were made possible, in part, by support from the Peter Norton Family Foundation.