Innovative artists can create remarkable objects from simple materials, such as paper, construction supplies, and light. These elements combine in experimental fashion in two new contemporary exhibitions opening at the Currier Museum of Art on Saturday, February 25, 2017.
Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting examines a re-energized art form dating back to ancient China. The exhibition showcases inventive objects made from cut and manipulated paper, ranging from large-scale installations to detailed diminutive works. The objects explore a wide range of thought-provoking subjects.
Soo Sunny Park, a New Hampshire-based artist, has created a new work of art, BioLath, which immerses visitors in a dynamic, light-filled space. Occupying an entire gallery of the Currier Museum, the artist works with construction materials to filter and refract natural and artificial light.
“This spring, the Currier Museum will focus on contemporary art,” said Alan Chong, director of the museum. “Both exhibitions feature objects which have been pierced, cut, abraded, and manipulated in some way. Ordinary, everyday materials take on new lives and new meaning. Much of the work presented this season has been created or altered specifically for the museum. We invite visitors to experience these exhibitions in their own ways. For example, they will be able to craft their own cut-paper objects in a community project.”
An extensive series of public programs deepen understanding of the two exhibitions. A special event on the evening of February 24 at 7 pm will celebrate the exhibitions; tickets are $20 and include a free drink.
Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting
While the art of cut paper has been around for centuries (almost as long as paper itself), many contemporary artists have found innovative ways to update the art form, creating whimsical and challenging objects. The works on view vary from the intimate and detailed to monumental and awe-inspiring. Some artists employ unusual methods to push the limits of what paper can do, such as cutting it with a belt sander or even knitting shredded paper.
Deep Cuts redefines the traditional craft of paper cutting. Although many of the objects are intricately detailed, they can be unconventional in terms of scale, content or construction. Some artists make sculptural objects that challenge the assumed flatness and fragility of paper, while others cut documents to explore the information and power that has become associated with these materials.
“The endlessly inventive artists featured in Deep Cuts create work that is as visually arresting as it is conceptually rich,” said Samantha Cataldo, exhibition curator. “In the dawn of a so-called paperless society, their work stands in striking opposition to our digitized world.”
The artists featured in the exhibition are: Elizabeth Alexander, Noriko Ambe, Hina Aoyama, Doug Beube, Ambreen Butt, Jonathan Callan, Rob Carter, Charles Clary, Brian Dettmer, Andrea Dezsö, Lauren Fensterstock, Adam Fowler, Randy Garber, Meg Hitchcock, Jim Hodges, Li Hongbo, Fred H C Liang, Marco Maggi, Youdhi Maharjan, Stefana McClure, Lisa Nilsson, Julian Opie, Shannon Rankin, Nikki Rosato, Kim Rugg, Mathias Schmied, Jane South, Jill Sylvia, Sarah Sze, Yuken Teruya, Robert The, Randal Thurston, August Ventimiglia, Mark Wagner, Kara Walker and C.K. Wilde.
A 40-page, full-color catalogue will be available for $10 at the Currier Museum shop and Amazon.com.
In conjunction with Deep Cuts, exhibiting artist Elizabeth Alexander, inspired by her search for a utopian America, will design Deep Cuts in the American Dream, the first community project in the museum’s lobby. Visitors, using junk mail as their medium, will create shapes based on templates, adding to a growing decorative cut-paper installation. Known for her use of antique wallpaper, Elizabeth Alexander’s templates will draw on works in the museum’s collection, including a 19th-century wallpaper showing Lyon, France.
Alexander will launch the project on February 20 with a free workshop for educators. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the project throughout the run of the exhibition, which closes on May 21.
Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting is sponsored by the Hitchiner Manufacturing Company, M. Christine Dwyer and Michael Huxtable, Dorothea and David Jensen, Monadnock Paper Mills, and the Gilbert Verney Foundation. Art New England is the media sponsor.
Soo Sunny Park: BioLath
New Hampshire-based installation artist Soo Sunny Park experiments with light and biomorphic shapes in her new work, BioLath. She uses metal lath, a flat construction material normally hidden in walls behind plaster, to create curved translucent objects. Organic in form but industrial in material, her sculptural installation explores the relationship between nature and artifice, and between the natural and the built environment. Park’s biomorphic objects will fill the museum’s Putnam Gallery. Both natural and artificial light will filter through the objects, creating an ever changing composition of shifting shadows and patterns on the walls.
“My earlier work used light as a sculptural material, in that the reflections and shadows are part of the work, not incidental byproducts of it,” said Park. “In BioLath, I wanted to incorporate the shadows as drawings, and animate the lines of shadows as an active element of the installation.”
“In this ambitious work, Park explores the metaphorical gray area between various boundaries, including those which divide sculpture and drawing, vision and perception, light and shadow, and interior and exterior,” said Samantha Cataldo, the exhibition’s curator. “We are thrilled to have her transform our visitors’ interactions with the museum’s architecture through her art.”
Soo Sunny Park’s work has been displayed throughout the United States, as well as globally in places like Korea and the United Arab Emirates. She received her B.F.A. in painting and sculpture from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and a M.F.A. in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Park has received numerous awards and grants including a Joan Mitchell M.F.A. Grant. She currently lives in New Hampshire and is a professor at Dartmouth College.
Soo Sunny Park: BioLath, which closes August 6, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Dorothea and David Jensen, Hitchiner Manufacturing Company, M. Christine Dwyer & Michael Huxtable, and the Artist’s Resource Trust. Art New England is the media sponsor.
More details and registration for some of these events at currier.org.
Contemporary at the Currier
Friday, February 24, 7 to 10 pm
We look forward to seeing you at our celebration of two new contemporary art exhibitions, Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting and Soo Sunny Park: BioLath. The event provides a chance to meet and talk with many of the artists in the exhibitions. Enjoy music, great food, and drinks, and make something creative.
Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes a complimentary cocktail. Tapas and a full range of drinks will be available for purchase. Buy tickets at currier.org.
Deep Cuts in the American Dream: A Community Project
Saturday, February 25 through Sunday, May 21
You are invited to help create a community work of art, led by Deep Cuts artist Elizabeth Alexander. Visitors will shape pieces of junk mail, which will be added to a large-scale decorative cut-paper installation
Storytime in the Gallery: Henri’s Scissors
Monday, February 27, 11:30 am
We will read Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter, and then see what we can create using paper and scissors. All ages are welcome. Free with general museum admission, which during February Vacation Week is $5. Kids 12 and younger and members are always free.
February Vacation Camp at the Art Center
Rock, Paper, Scissors! and Clay, Pencils, Paint!
Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 3
Reservations required at currier.org. Half- and full-day sessions are available for ages 5–14.
Creative Studio: Paper Project
Wednesday, March 1, 11 am to 1 pm
Explore the art of paper through engaging hands-on projects. All ages welcome. Free with general museum admission, which during February Vacation Week is $5. Kids 12 and younger and Members are always free.
Focus Tour: Deep Cuts and BioLath
Thursday, March 2; Saturday, March 18; Saturday, April 9, 11:30 am
Enjoy a tour that explores both exhibitions with one of our docent educators.
Currier After Hours: Deep Cuts Explored
Thursday, March 2, 6 pm to 9 pm
The night will explore the art of paper and will include a talk by Deep Cuts artist Randy Garber. Boston-based singer/songwriter Julie Rhodes, will perform live in the Café. We will have an art-making station for you and a full menu and cash bar in the Winter Garden Café. Free with Museum general admission, which during February Vacation Week is $5. Members are always free.
Friday, March 3, 11 am to 1 pm
After visiting multiple making stations that invite you to explore the magic of paper, you will collect a prize! All ages are welcome. Free with general museum admission, which during February Vacation Week is $5. Kids 12 and younger and Members are always free.
Educator Walkthrough: Deep Cuts and BioLath
Wednesday, March 8, 4 pm
Local educators are invited to learn about the special exhibitions, Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting and Soo Sunny Park: BioLath, with museum educator and interpreter, Ann Bible. Free for members. $5 for educators.
Member Tour: Deep Cuts and BioLath
Thursday, March 9, 11:30 am
As part of our members appreciation week, enjoy a tour that explores both exhibitions with one of our docent educators.
Creative Studio: Rolled Paper Design
Saturday, March 11, 10 am to 1 pm
Artists have used paper for centuries in a variety of ways, including the artists in the special exhibition, Deep Cuts. Inspired by works from this exhibition, participants will learn how to quill paper and create their own works of art. All ages are welcome. This is a NH Free Saturday event. All NH residents get free admission from 10 am to noon on the second Saturday of every month thanks to support from the Botnick Family Foundation and E&R Laundry and Dry Cleaners.
ARTalk: Updated Use of Traditional Paper
Sunday, March 12, 2 pm
Deep Cuts artists Jane South, Randal Thurston, and Lisa Nilsson discuss how they use paper in unusual ways and push the traditional craft of paper art to new levels.
Imagine and Explore: Making Tunnel Books
Saturday, March 18, 1 pm to 3 pm
Tunnel books (or theatre books) are books that you make that create a scene of a story. The overall effect is magical, producing an illusion of depth and perspective. Come with a story in mind, and join artist and educator Sadie Barton for this workshop as she shows you how to design your story scene, simply by using paper, scissors, colored pencils, and glue. Advance registration required.
Storytime in the Gallery: Pinocchio
Monday, March 27, 11:30 am
Hear a children’s librarian read Pinocchio: A Cut-Paper Book by Agnese Baruzzi, then create with paper! Recommended for ages 2 to 5, but all are welcome. Free with general museum admission. Kids 12 and younger are always free.
Creative Studio: Book Arts
Saturday, April 8, 10 am to 1 pm
Artists have often used books as material for their art. Come explore how contemporary artists do just that, and then create your own book art. All ages welcome. This is a NH Free Saturday event. All NH residents get free admission from 10 am to noon on the second Saturday of every month thanks to support from the Botnick Family Foundation and E&R Laundry and Dry Cleaners.
ARTiculate Play Reading: Animals Out of Paper
Sunday, April 9, 2 pm to 4 pm
theatre KAPOW will present a play reading of Rajiv Joseph’s Animals Out of Paper, a funny, poignant play about the collision of mismatched people and the complicated ways we hurt, heal, and love those around us. In the wake of her recent divorce, origami artist Ilana has barricaded herself in her studio, surrounded by paper cranes and Chinese take-out boxes. Her seclusion is interrupted by an energetic high school teacher and his student, who urge Ilana back into the world. Following the reading, Dr. Landis K. Magnuson, professor of theater at St. Anselm College and Emily Archer, museum volunteer, will lead a brief discussion connecting the play to the special exhibition Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting. Free with general museum admission. Reservations strongly recommended at currier.org.
April Vacation Camp at the Art Center: Wire
Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28
Reservations required at currier.org. Half- and full-day sessions available for ages 5–14.
Storytime in the Gallery: Roar
Monday, April 24, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Hear a children’s librarian read Roar by Maira Kalman, and then create your own wire circus figure! All ages are welcome. Free with general museum admission. Kids 12 and younger are always free.
Dimensions in Dance Performance
Monday, April 24, 1 pm to 1:30 pm
Enjoy a live performance from Dimensions in Dance studio that is inspired by Soo Sunny Park’s BioLath exhibition.
Creative Studio: Wire Creations! Collaborative Project with Artist Soo Sunny Park
Wednesday, April 26, 11 am to 1 pm
Inspired by Soo Sunny Park’s immersive installation, visitors will collaborate with the artist on a community project. All ages are welcome.
Building with Wire
Friday, April 28, 11 am to 1 pm
After completing a wire challenge, collect a prize! All ages are welcome.
The Currier Museum of Art, located at 150 Ash Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, is open every day except Tuesday. It is home to a respected collection of European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs, and sculpture, including works by Monet, Picasso, Matisse, and O’Keeffe. Visitors of all ages will enjoy engaging exhibitions, dynamic programs ranging from art-making and lectures to music, a shop and an airy, light-filled café. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building. The Currier Museum welcomes visitors with disabilities and special needs; we are wheelchair accessible and offer FM headsets for sound amplification for most public programs. For more information, visitcurrier.org.