‘A language might also be compared to a sheet of paper. Thought is one side of the sheet and sound the reverse side.’ -Ferdinand de Saussure
Susan Eley Fine Art is pleased to present Paper Goods, a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based artist and critic, Kara L. Rooney. The use of paper signals a dance between the written and the visualized, the real and the imagined, the linear and the expansive. For millennia it has aided in the act of transcription and served as the archive, giving voice to our innermost thoughts, desires and philosophical reflections. Paper’s communicative power—as a mobile, compact, lightweight support—registers here in its ability to synthesize phenomenological experience as well as its applicability to various media: thread, watercolor, ink, paint and beyond. This timeless medium has long fascinated artists, serving not only as an evocative tool for communication, but expanding our notion of ‘humanness’ via its inherent duality as both recorder and speech act.
Utilizing sets of various constraints, from the singular dedication to a specific material as in the unique hand-made books of Elena Berriolo, to Andrea Belag’s production of completed watercolorsin a single session, abstraction and paper conjoin as metaphor for the limits of experience. Via a more structured approach, Joan Waltemath and Tom McGlynn draw upon the grid as a codifier for human sentience—pushing and probing the boundaries of language and memory—while Chuck Webster’s intentionally ambiguous symbolism and Saya Woolfalk’s fantastical paper-pulp ‘hides’ conjure something altogether different, signaling, in their hyper-saturated and peripatetic forms, a departure from the restraints of this world and an embrace of the narrative ‘other.’ Allied by this common language, each of the participating artists employs the medium of paper as a vessel for relational inquiry, not only as a material prop, but as fodder for the creative act itself.