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Paper art. It can be so much more than ink or graphite drawings on flat white sheets. Folded, constructed or crumpled (or even lacquered as in David Jang's paper towel floor installation pictured above), paper becomes a sculptural goldmine.
Eva Black's "Folded" installation is a sculpture consisting of approximately 3,500 folded paper pyramids that, when combined, looks like an origami quilt.
The entire piece is constructed from found, gifted and collected paper Black culled from old art projects, paper bags, bookstores and more.
A scaled down, terrarium sized piece, reminiscent of Black's work, is this fun sculpture by Mark from the London based Present and Correct.
For a less geometric and more organic paper art, check out this installation of more than 100 paper sculptures by artist Peter Gentenaar. Floating throughout the church of Saint Riquier, close to Abbeyville, Somme, Northern France, the sculptures are floral in form and jelly-like in their weightlessness.
My favorite paper artist ever (and a personal friend) is Olga Lah, who I first discovered while sitting on a jury for the Los Angeles Art Association. She installed this amazing and adaptable piece in the entryway of the 2012 Palm Springs Art Fair which took place last February during the city's vaunted Modernism Week.
Most fine art is archival, it will stand the test of time. Paper often contains acid, which breaks the material and its colors down over time. While some of the art above is archival, not all of it (especially in the case of Eva Black's found paper) will hold up over time. Lighting plays a big role in the display and preservation of art. Halogen track lighting is preferred by many galleries, as it provides a full spectrum of white light, is low in harmful UV rays, and is adjustable so you can fine tune the lighting of your art work. For sculptural pieces, you may want to try recessed lighting overhead.
Last are some sculptural works nearly impervious to fading. Check out these complex, monochromatic origami-ish paper pieces by artist Matt Shlian.
Paper as sculptural fine art is only the beginning. Origami is increasingly being explored, in everything from space flight to nano-technologies, as a means to pack more stuff into less space. And for most design junkies, packing cool, beautiful forms into small spaces is what we're all about.
Images: David Jang, Eva Black Design, Design for Mankind, Gentenaar-Torley, Olga Lah, Matt Shlian
Paper Art: From Sheet to Sculpture
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