Hand Papermaking Portfolios: Negative Space- Picturing the Void and Handmade Paper in Motion

Exhibition Dates: 
February 5 to May 6, 2016

Hand Papermaking Journal produces limited-edition collections of paper art in biannual portfolios.  Each portfolio is arranged around a theme, such as paper fibers, calligraphy and handmade paper, pulp painting, or other paper-related art forms.  In this exhibit, explore selections from these two beautiful portfolios:

Negative Space in Handmade Paper: Picturing the Void: A collection of 19 compelling artworks by 22 artists, this portfolio investigates an intriguing concept: Negative Space. Selected from an impressive pool of entries by a distinguished jury (Lesley Dill, Cynthia Thompson, Paul Wong), the work as a whole encourages viewers to ponder what is omitted.

Each piece in the edition explores the void, the interval, the point where what is negative becomes positive. To create meaning in the gap between form and non-form, some pieces trust abstract imagery and geometric forms; others evoke vacancy with devices like blowing sand or swirling fish nets or cellular microscopy; while others are representational: an empty chair, a cathedral window, an obituary. A variety of paper fibers are employed with techniques such as stenciling, blow-out, embedding, watermarks, multiple couching, pulp painting, papercut, silkscreen, collage, cyanotype, etc. Whatever the method, whatever the fiber, the finished artworks emphasize what would normally be thought of as “missing.”

Handmade Paper in Motion:

This extraordinary assortment of collaborative artwork--14 pieces by 28 artists--features pop-ups, movable devices, and other forms of dynamic paper engineering. The motion and imagery is enhanced physically and conceptually by the use of handmade paper designed and made specifically for each edition.

The movable elements are as captivating as an African mask or a working sundial, as intriguing as a sealed packet or a ‘magic window’ into plant fiber mysteries, as surprising as a spilled ink bottle or a jar of snakes! Imaging techniques include suminagashi marbling, woodcut, linocut, letterpress, pochoir, pulp painting, and screenprint. The paper is enhanced with watermarks, natural inclusions, double couching, multi-colored pulps, and other innovative methods. The artists incorporate a wide variety of paper fibers. Some are utilitarian and traditional such as cotton, abaca, and flax; others are more unusual such as yucca, gingko, and bamboo.


The exhibit will be open from February 5 to May 6, 2016. The museum is free and open to the public. Groups of 10 or more must make advance reservations.