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Negative Space in Handmade Paper: Picturing the Void


Negative Space in Handmade Paper:  Picturing the Void

Nineteen compelling artworks investigate an intriguing concept. Commissioned essay by Buzz Spector.

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.”

A custom-made clamshell box houses the work, each in a protective folder imprinted with the artist’s name. A handbound booklet, with letterpress-printed cover, contains statements from the artists, details about each piece, and a commissioned essay by artist and writer Buzz Spector.

The participating artists are Jared Akerstrom, John Babcock, Aïdée Bernard, Emily Chaplain, Béatrice Coron, Anne Covell, Lesley Dill, Gabrielle Galbreth, Karen Hardy, Erin Harmon, Kyle Holland, Amy Jacobs, Tom Leech, Roberto Mannino, Radha Pandey, Victòria Rabal, Steph Rue, Michelle Samour, Elizabeth Sheehan, Megan Singleton, Cynthia Thompson, and Paul Wong.

The portfolio is edited by Mina Takahashi, with design and letterpress-printed wrappers by Steve Miller. All proceeds benefit Hand Papermaking, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the traditions and contemporary developments of handmade paper and paper art.

The edition is limited to 150.

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This portfolio was printed by Linemark Printing of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on Cougar Opaque Text paper in Garamond types. The Canson wrappers were letterpress printed by Steve Miller. The image on the wrapper and title page was pulled from the work by Lesley Dill. Judi Conant completed the binding and made the boxes.

Hand Papermaking sincerely appreciates the considerable efforts and generous spirit of the Negative Space in Handmade Paper: Picturing the Void artists, jurors, essayist, and designer.

We also acknowledge the vital support of Denise Anderson & J.T. Feeney, Cathleen A. Baker, Tom Balbo, Timothy Barrett, Sid Berger & Michele Cloonan, Simon Blattner, Tom & Lore Burger, Jeffrey Cooper, Kathy Crump, Gail Deery, Susan Mackin Dolan, Jane Farmer, Helen Frederick, Susan Gosin, Helen Hiebert, Ingrid Rose Paper Conservation, Lois & Gordon James, Barbara Landes, Peter Newland & Robyn Johnson, Laura Merrick Roe, Michelle Samour, Richard H. Schimmelpfeng, Nancy & Mark Tomasko, Gibby Waitzkin, Pamela & Gary Wood.

Portfolio theme inspired by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen.

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