Monday, March 7, 2011

Pulp Possibilities at Redline

“Pulp Possibilities” opened Friday night at Redline Milwaukee. It “celebrates … contemporary paper making endeavors” and features works that have been made in RedLine’s new Paper Making Studio. I missed the opening but visited on Saturday and enjoyed the show immensely. The mostly experimental works are appropriately diverse. Though the work varies in terms of its polish, the quality is remarkably high for a studio workshop effort and it shows off the possibilities of using paper pulp as a medium, as promised in the show title. Here are some shots of the installation, accompanied by excerpts from the artists’ statements.

John Kowalczyk: “ A transformation mask is used in Native American cultures and represents an animal transforming into a human. ...These masks represent equality between all living things. …I see pulp and paper as an equalizing factor between different works of art, a sort of skin that differs between every individual like the surfaces of varied artworks.”
Kari Couture: “Working in paper has started to bridge the divide between printmaking and sculpture for me. …H(ome)/H(eart) Bombs is a piece about the delicacy of relationships and the comfort we find in them. Home is often defined by the people we share our space with and when these relationships are threatened, changing or fading, our sense of home, belonging, safety, and wellbeing, comes under attack and becomes fragile.”

Laci Coppins: “In my current project, the self portrait, …the use of a template invites the observer into the repetitious hidden impressions. My intent is to rouse the viewer’s curiosity regarding the text and the message that exists. Finally, the spectator is encouraged to take ‘a piece’ of who I am with them as I strive to become more open.”

Jessica Laub: “the fragile nature of paper reminds me of the fragile nature of nests – so beautifully constructed with so much care, and yet so temporary, as is life. They exist for a season or two to nurture what is good, then the birds fly away and all returns to dust.”

Victoria Tasch: “Paper is temporary. …Sometimes the paper receives the marks of the artist; sometimes the paper is the mark. …My first paper casting project was a sand castle, incorporating sand into the pulp and on the surface. …The spontaneity and manipulation of the pulp/sand are therapeutic and intuitive experiments. This series will be finished when I take the sand/pulp castles to Florida to be documented and then they will return to the sea. Beautiful things are destined to end.”

Steve Vande Zande: An excerpt of Steve’s artist’s statement will not do it justice, as it has a diaristic literary style and narrative integrity. This delightfully twiggy character striding boldly across a disheveled book is one of four diverse pieces that Steve says “share the possibility of what narratives are presented in ephemeral litter with utilitarian purpose.”

Lawrence D’Attilio: “As a photographer I feel we create images that are limited by our five sensory perceptions and sense of passing time. …Wet pulp can dry into a texture that looks like a landscape in miniature…. We can consider that we are rapidly imprisoning the earth in the embrace of man’s ego. How do our limited sensory perceptions of earth, sea, and air govern what we permit ourselves to do that affects the earth?”

Dara Larson, who has been making paper since 1987, is the ringer in the bunch. Her statement asserts “paper is a wonderful source for collage, sculpture, artist’s books, drawing, and printmaking of all kinds.” That not only sums up the whole show but her own prodigious output. Her section of the installation includes pretty much all of that. The rest of the pix are all of her diverse installation.

Several of Dara's pieces were framed in glass, as above, and placed against the window. I not only liked the pieces in themselves but the way that their abstract industrial content and compositions harmonized with the view through the window.

“Pulp Possibilities” continues through April 2 at Redline Milwaukee.

(p.s. I apologize for the screwy formatting of this post. I wrestled with the blogger template and did my best!)


  1. I want to see this show. Charlie

  2. Go to the link to their website for location, hours and dates, etc.