Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art by Doug Beube, Danielle Durchslag, Irwin Susskind, and Thomas Witte
Central Library, Foyer Gallery Cases
Exhibition located in the Foyer Gallery Cases & 2nd Floor Balcony Cases.
A group exhibition that celebrates the renaissance of cut paper as an artistic medium, including artists who choose to draw with a knife, saw, or scissors as an integral part of their practice.
My work explores the book itself, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age. Although the codex, compared to computers, is undeniably limited in its capacity to store, perpetuate, generate and recreate information, I accept these boundaries. I began changing the book’s structure in 1979 by pushing the physical properties of the book: piercing, gouging and excavating it, as if it were a thrilling, previously undiscovered site in an archeological dig. Each piece explores the reciprocity between meaning and structure as comprehended subliminally through the senses.
Doug Beube is a mixed-media artist working in bookwork, collage, sculpture, and photography. Since 1993, he has been curator of a private collection, “The Allan Chasanoff Bookworks Collection: The Book Under Pressure,” in New York City. Doug teaches classes at Parsons The New School for Design in artists’ books, collage, mixed-media and photography, and workshops at Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Center for Book Arts. Beube exhibits extensively both nationally and internationally and his bookworks and photographs are in numerous private and public collections. His monograph, Doug Beube: Breaking the Codex: Bookworks, Collage and Mixed Media, was published in 2011. Photo credit: Chris Buck.
I make large- and small-scale portraits that look like paintings when photographed, but are in fact constructed from hundreds of pieces of cut paper. My work uses layered paper to explore the subtle, powerful process of human emotional development. As in human psychology, each new layer is crafted and informed by the one beneath it, to create a seemingly complete whole.
Danielle Durchslag was born in Chicago, Illinois, and completed her master’s degree at New York University in 2011. She now lives and works in New York and has since been invited to participate in a number of artists residencies, including; the SÍM Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland, and closer to home, at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Danielle had a solo show at Yale University in 2011 and she has begun to exhibit works in a number of high-profile group shows across the United States.
I love books. About 15 years ago I sensed that the book (as a physical object) was about to vanish and become part of history. Books became the raw material for my work. By cutting, ripping, crumpling and reassembling, I create fragments (from books), if unearthed in the distant future reveal the magic that has been lost.
Irwin Susskind has worked as a graphic designer at Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., a firm that specializes in developing corporate identities, where he designed logos for Fortune 500 companies in the United States and worldwide. His artwork was exhibited at the Bertha Urdang Gallery in New York City and in the Members’ Gallery in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
During my time in Argentina, I immersed myself in the vibrant graffiti scene and became fascinated in mark-making. More recently, my work has shifted from mark-making to the paper cut stencils themselves. I draw an image on to a single sheet of paper, and then painstakingly hand cut the outline with an X-acto knife. In the drawing process, I use the presence or absence of paper to create color, depth, texture, shadow, time and movement.
The art of paper cutting has transformed my perception of the space around me. A signature element of my work is the inclusion of the most challenging details: reflections in water and glass. Irrespective of the subject or time, I seek to offer the viewer the opportunity to reconsider images and memories through my interpretation of their intricacy and beauty.
Thomas Witte, a New Jersey native, completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Rutgers University. He now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, with a studio based at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Witte has had solo shows in Brooklyn and New Jersey and more recently has been invited to participate in a number of group shows, including the New York Center for Arts and Media Studies. Photo credit: PUL Magazine/Argentina.
Special thanks to Diana Ewer and Christopher Henry, co-curators of A Cut Above: 12 Paper Masters, an exhibition that took place at the Christopher Henry Gallery in New York City, Summer 2012, and was the inspiration for this current BPL exhibition. Additional exhibition notes by Diana Ewer.