From a floor-length gown made of 1,000 shredded United States dollar bills to a painting constructed of newspaper and hemp, a surprising variety of art crafted out of paper is showcased in Pulp Function, on view in the Fred Beans Gallery at the James A. Michener Art Museum
from March 28 through June 28, 2009. Organized by the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, and curated by Lloyd Herman, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institutions Renwick Gallery (the national craft museum), this exhibition includes more than 50 works demonstrating innovative uses of handmade paper pulp, recycled paper, paper cuts, cardboard, papier-mâché and folded paper, among even more envelope-pushing paper products.
Pulp Function is sponsored by Judith and Bud Newman, with additional support from Silverman Family Partnerships and The Doylestown Bookshop.
The three-dimensional objects in this exhibit range from jewelry and clothing, furniture and lighting to vessels and purely whimsical sculptural piecesand everything imaginable in between! exclaims Erika Jaeger-Smith, the Museums Associate Curator of Exhibitions. For decades, artists have manipulated paper products as a means of creative expression. Contemporary artists continue to expand the possibilities of this humble yet endlessly malleable material even further. Yet others use found paper products to create art.
According to Herman, a world-renowned scholar recognized as a craft guru by American Craft Magazine, New materials such as paper clay and precious metal clay have entered the art vocabulary, fusing traditional materials with new technology. But it is also one of the worlds most familiar, and expendable materialspaperthat will continue to inspire artists and designers to imagine, and create new art.
Pulp Function celebrates the work of emerging and established artists from across America. Themes such as commodity, domesticity and decoration are explored in objects that blur the line between art, craft and design. Mia Halls Domestic ExpectationsThe Mother (2005) employs disposable diapers to replicate a Chanel-look suit that reveals a compartment for baby powder, a pacifier and baby wipes. Edwin Jagers Book Implosion swirls the pages of a Websters Elementary School Dictionary into a conga drum-shaped sculpture, while Jacqueline Mallegnis Wind through the Mountain (2005) appears poised for flight, with a parachute of handmade kozo paper hovering above a mountain of alabaster.
An accompanying catalogue entitled Pulp Function is available for $14.00 in the Museum Shop ($12.60 for Museum members). Published by Fuller Craft Museum, this soft cover publication consists of 25 pages, 32 color images, an exhibition checklist and an essay by Lloyd Herman.