Museum of Arts & Design Showcases Works on Paper that Work on Paper

Pietro Ruffo.jpg

Print may be dying, but paper endures, whether cut, burned, shredded, scribbled on, or sculpted into elaborate art installations. The Museum of Arts & Design tears into the topic with “Slash: Paper Under the Knife,” the third exhibition in its Materials and Process series. On view through April 4 of next year, the exhibition explores the creative possibilities of paper through the works of paper-loving artists such as Olafur Eliasson, who in 2006 reproduced a cross-section of his house (at a scale of 85:1) on 900 sheets of laser-cut paper in a sort of anti-pop-up book, and Kara Walker, whose painstaking paper cut-outs explore themes of race, gender, and the shadier side of American history.

Sangeeta Sandrasegar.jpg
(Photos: Stefan Bagnoli)

Occupying one corner of the gallery is Pietro Ruffo‘s “Youth of the Hills” (2008), a six-foot-long tank that is studded with nails and covered in cut paper and Hebrew prayer script. More politically-charged paper sure to please the design crowd is the work of Sangeeta Sandrasegar, whose cut-outs insert war imagery into the distinctive shapes of iconic chairs designed by the likes of Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames. “The chair and image provoke constructs of looking/seeing: as bystander, spectator, onlooker, observer, and as such the range of power/powerlessness these positions convey,” writes Sandrasegar on his blog. “Additionally, between the depicted image of war and the chair template lie other gulfs of of contrast: between first and third worlds, the safe worlds in which designer furniture exists, and the unsafe worlds in which bombs and raids exist, creation and destruction, wealth and poverty.”

Previously on UnBeige:

  • Battered Books, Tattered Covers: The Photos of Cara Barer and Abelardo Morell