About the Blog:

This blog serves to document the curatorial and collaborative processes leading up to the exhibition Material Assumptions: Paper as Dialogue, (June 15 – August 11, 2012) at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago.

About the Curatorial Process:

A graduate student curatorial team is working with Jessica Cochran, curator of exhibitions,  as part of an independent study in the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago. Privileging a process-driven, pedagogical approach to exhibition making, the curatorial team is collaborating on all aspects of the exhibition, from curatorial research to marketing and installation.

Paper Studio

Student curators producing handmade paper in the studios

About the Exhibition: Material Assumptions: Paper as Dialogue

This exhibition is about the discursive ways that artists approach paper as a medium, technology, and tool.

Susan Goethel Campbell

Susan Goethel Campbell prepares works for Material Assumptions with paper handmade to her specifications in the studios at CBPA

The exhibition has two sections, both of which identify the primary role of handmade paper in art as a conceptual and formal “supporting partner,” while making visible its versatility and nuance as a medium. First, we asked interdisciplinary contemporary artists to create new work using abaca and cotton paper handmade at the Center for Book and Paper Arts. In doing so, we have prompted each artist to participate in a conversation concerning not only the paper itself, but her own creative processes and studio practices: does a new material complicate the artist’s way of making, thinking or working?  This section features twelve artists, including Dan Devening, Deborah Boardman, Ian Schneller, and Zoe Nelson.

A second section features works created by artists in-residence at Dieu Donné, a New York-based non-profit artist workspace dedicated to the creation, promotion and preservation of contemporary art in the hand papermaking process. Artists include Jessica Stockholder, Glenn Ligon, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Polly Apfelbaum, Sonya Blesofsky, Mel Bochner, Ian Cooper, William Kentridge, Beth Campbell and Nina Bovasso. As handmade paper is not a primary material for these artists, their residency at Dieu Donné afforded them an opportunity to see how it could work for them in important ways.

The exhibition underscores the Center for Book and Paper Arts’ commitment to hand papermaking through studio-based practice, experimentation and research.


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