The Language of Color, Hand Papermaking’s fourteenth edition of its celebrated handmade paper portfolio series, is a complex examination of a weighty theme: What does color mean? In the hands of a skilled papermaker, color has a range of aesthetic qualities from deep translucency, earthy softness, rich opacity, to a blush, ethereal tone. In a wider sense, however, how we read and connect with color reflects reinforced cultural meanings, where we come from, even where we are emotionally at a given time and place. Through color one can examine relationships of belonging and otherness and investigate nuances of emotion, spirit, place, and culture. Color in paper communicates in ways that we cannot through words, opening us up to connecting with others and transforming our understanding of the material and our community.
These ideas inspired a brilliant collection of 18 artists from Europe, Africa, and all corners of the United States whose 16 paper works were chosen by curator Hong Hong. To represent the “the language of color” in paper, some artists built their works with an emotive and compelling pastiche of colored pulps. Other artists delved inward into their own psychic understanding of what color means to them and to others. Still others made works insprired by external sources: The natural world, ecological systems, science, cosmology, literature, and personal histories. The final result is a portfolio that is rich in color, meaning, and import.
The 18 artists who contributed 16 works to The Language of Color are: Rebecca Alm & Amanda Degener, Tom Balbo, Kerri Cushman, Katharine Delamater & Colleen Lawrence, Sue Carrie Drummond, Gina Fowler, Leah Frankel, Susan Gosin, Viviane Colautti Ivanova, Genevieve Lapp, Henry Obeng, Anela Oh, Ingrid Schindall, Megan Singleton, Maria Amalia Wood, and Derick Wycherly
A custom-made clamshell box houses these artists’ works, each paper held in a protective folder imprinted with the artists’ names. A hand-bound booklet, with letterpress-printed cover, contains statements from the artists, details about each piece, and essays by Hong Hong and Bridget Donlon.
The portfolio was juried by Hong Hong, and edited by Mina Takahashi, design and letterpress-printed wrappers by Steve Miller. Hong Hong and writer/curator Bridget Donlon contributed essays.
All proceeds benefit Hand Papermaking, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the traditions and contemporary developments of handmade paper and paper art.