dm contemporary

on / of / about / Paper @DM Contemporary


on / of / about / Paper

March 6, 2015 - April 18, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 2015. 6 - 8 pm

dm contemporary is pleased to present on/ of/ about/ Paper, an exhibition of two and three dimensional works where paper is the primary medium and is integral to the work itself. The thirteen artists featured are Rob de Oude, Fritz Dietel, Elizabeth Duffy, Matt Keegan, Zoe Keramea, Jae Ko, Manfred Müller, Ryan Sarah Murphy, Karen Schiff, Kate Shepherd, James Siena, Molly Smith, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. In the hands of these artists, paper is marked, scored, torn, cut, glued, rolled, folded, crumpled, smoothed, rubbed, stacked, soaked, dried - and totally transformed from a traditional, everyday material into something new, fresh, and evolved. The various works in this exhibition explore, exploit, and reveal a versatile medium, vital to contemporary artistic expression. 

The exhibition opens on Friday, March 6th and remains on view through Saturday, April 18th, with an opening reception for the artists on Friday, March 6th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Rob de Oude's paintings and drawings are composed of meticulously placed lines that are repeated, layered, and woven, to reveal geometric shapes and patterns, and produce web-like grids. His frottage drawings are similarly orchestrated - employing a rubbing technique on paper of a surface to obtain an impression - paper being an essential component.  In this case a single line, that is repeated to form infinite grid possibilities. The overlapping grids of color, and the collision of angled lines create an elusive sense of space, shifting colors, and deceptively bending the lines. Created from the most basic of materials, these visually pleasurable and optically charged works, cross over several disciplines, and even suggest super-charged grids and social networks.

Originally a wood sculptor, Fritz Dietel, has recently turned to paper, to create sculptures that are entirely formed using abaca paper and pulp - that is made from banana leaves. The qualities of this delicate-looking, yet strong, translucent organic paper, seem perfectly suited, and are fully exploited by the artist in creating his forms, and their paper-skin textures. His work is inspired by botanical and aquatic life.

Elizabeth Duffy typically chooses materials that are overlooked, and often poignantly obsolete, such as circle reinforcement labels that were once used to preserve sheets of paper in 3-ring binders. When layered and folded, these small white paper circles form elegant white-on-white patterns. Shining a light, metaphorically and physically, on this onetime essential office supply, reveals a presence and a noticeable physicality, and displays playful patterns that change as the viewer changes position.

Matt Keegan's work integrates sculpture, photography, printmaking, and text - with the latter, playing an important role throughout Keegan’s work. He explores common idioms and simple phrases, especially the way letters and words look, and focuses on language and how people connect to each other through it. During his papermaking residency at Dieu Donne, the artist created hand-cut stencils focusing on a single word set and utilized them in conjunction with wet-collage techniques to create a series of unique compositions to interpret his conceptual play of words and patterns.

Zoe Keramea starts by folding flat paper first into triangles, then knotting them into themselves to make hexahedrons, which become the units that she attaches and sews together to build intricate geometric sculptures. Her interest in geometry is analytical, and has to do more with conceptual potentialities than with mathematical certitude. Paper's versatility allows for the playful exploration of possibilities, including breaking down the modules, and turning them inside out.

Jae Ko has been working with paper for almost 30 years. Her organic wall sculptures and installations are formed through a process that involves soaking rolls of adding machine paper in ink, then bending, turning, and wrapping the rolls around and onto themselves, till the desired shape is arrived at, and then they are finally glued and permanently fixed. The linear or spiral compositions have a monumental and somber gravity, and a permanency that belies their paper origins.

Manfred Müller employs the language of architecture, and simple geometry to explore spatial relationships in his large scale, site-specific sculptures and installations, as well as in his drawings and works on paper, which he has consistently created in parallel with his sculpture. With a minimalist sensibility, the artist folds and scores the paper, just enough to create subtle interruptions in the surface that read as lines or areas, only to juxtapose these subtle lines with areas boldly drawn and painted in a solid contrasting color and shape - the spatial relationships created by this juxtaposition border on poetic geometry. In other works he favors a more obvious three-dimensional approach, shaping the paper and curving the edges, echoing his work in sculpture.

Ryan Sarah Murphy makes wall-mounted collages out of colored, discarded cardboard that is cut, torn, and layered. Referencing architecture, landscape and urban environments, these works are sculptural in form - the rugged layers suggest odd terrains, infrastructures and skylines. Murphy is interested in how cardboard, a simple, abundant and inherently impermanent material can be structured into compositions that convey both formation and dilapidation simultaneously.

Karen Schiff refers to her drawings as extremely ‘realistic’, since her lines ‘represent’ the paper - even though they yield a totally abstract image. Tracing lines, revealing grids, articulating spaces, and exposing any inherent 'defects', perhaps her drawings are about the paper, because her marks depend on what the surface of a given paper suggests. 'Laid Line Drawings' are composed of pencil or ink marks tracing the lines that exist in laid paper. These are lines that get formed as a result of the papermaking screen’s impression on the paper itself during the manufacturing process.

Kate Shepherd's editions of handmade paper, developed during a residency at Dieu Donne, are a departure from her usual large chromatic paintings. Utilizing her gift to create depth with few but precise visual clues, she found out that making spontaneous makeshift templates out of paper, worked best for her purposes.  The loosely cut paper stencils, allowed the pattern to distort when the wet pigmented pulp was pushed through, achieving the effect of an undulating, organic-looking grid.

James Siena works across a diverse range of media, including lithography, etching, woodcut, engraving, drawing, and painting. His artwork, driven by a self-imposed, pre-determined set of rules, or visual algorithms, results in intricate, freehand geometric patterns. He has collaborated with Paul Wong, master papermaker and artistic director at Dieu Donne on several occasions to make editions in paper. Of interest are two editions featuring imagery that the artist had explored earlier in his life and career- including one from when the artist was ten years old. The imagery was interpreted graphically in paper with black cotton pulp cast into rubber molds by hand, and attached to a backing sheet of high-shrinkage fiber.

Molly Smith creates sculptural works using materials that include found objects, natural materials and waste. Some of these materials are permanent, while others are ephemeral, altering and sometimes degrading - she accepts that, and acknowledges that existence must encompass both growth and disintegration. Re-purposing objects and materials, enables her to create with very little impact to her surroundings. Papermaking fits her concepts and her processes, by providing ways to transform discardedeveryday materials into new forms.During her residency at Dieu Donne she used leftover paper pulp, debris, and discarded waste collected from the classroom where she taught, to create several works in paper. Dust, a unique sculptural work in paper is a perfect case in point.

When Ursula von Rydinsvard, widely known for her massive and totemic sculptural works in wood, collaborated with master papermaker and artistic director of Dieu Donne, Paul Wong, she created a series of sixty unique works over the term of her residency there. Utilizing loose paper pulp as medium, she delved into the process of papermaking thoroughly investigating all its aspects, such as opacity and transparency of the fiber, tonality of the pigmented pulp. She explored various pulp materials, and incorporated other material such as tangles of thread and bits of cloth - papermaking became content as well as the image.  

Biographical Material

Rob de Oude has his studio in Brooklyn, NY, and is co-director of Transmitter, also in Brooklyn, NY.  He has shown in the US and abroad, notably at Galerie Gourvennec Ogor (Marseille, France), Storefront Bushwick, McKenzie Fine Art, BRIC Rotunda, and City Ice Arts (Kansas City, MO). De Oude has been featured in the NY Post, L Magazine, Artnet Magazine, NYArts Magazine, The New Criterion, ARTNews and has been noted by Brooklyn Magazine as one of the 100 influential people in Brooklyn culture.

Fritz Dietel is a sculptor based in Philadelphia. His sculptures have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at Schmidt Dean Gallery, 315 Gallery, the Delaware Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Grounds for Sculpture, and many others.  He is a past recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Visual Arts.

Elizabeth Duffy lives and works in Providence, RI, Acworth, NH and Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been widely exhibited at venues such as the Drawing Center, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, White Columns, and The Islip Museum.  Her work has been reviewed in The New York TimesArt NewsArt on Paper, the Boston Globe, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She currently teaches Art at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

Matt Keegan lives and works in New York City. In addition to solo and two-person shows at Altman Siegel, Andrea Rosen Gallery, The Kitchen, D’Amelio Terras, and many other venues, Keegan's work has been exhibited in notable group exhibitions internationally, including Short Stories at Sculpture Center, The Anxiety of Photography at the Aspen Art Museum, Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and The Generational: Younger than Jesus at the New Museum. His work appears courtesy of the artist and Dieu Donné, New York.

Zoe Keramea lives and works in Athens, Greece and New York City. She has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, Kouros Gallery, Dietzspace, Tenri Cultural Institute, and The Drawing Center in New York City. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant in 1989 to work on her printmaking project "Two Stage Intaglio Matrix Prints - Zoetypes" in New York.

Jae Ko is a Korean-born, Washington DC-based artist, whose work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in venues such as Marsha Mateyka Gallery (Washington, DC), Galerie Lausberg (Dusseldorf Germany), Andrew Bae Gallery (Chicago, IL), Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery, Galerie De Rijk (Dan Haag Netherlands), Robischon Gallery (Denver, CO), and many others. Her work has been reviewed in Art Papers, Sculpture MagazineArt in America, Art New England, The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. Currently, she is working on an installation consisting of 20,000 pounds of rolled recycled craft paper - the artist's largest and most ambitious to date in her career, at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.

Manfred Müller maintains studios in Düsseldorf, Germany and Santa Monica, California. Recent selected solo and group exhibitions include: Objects are Closer Than They Appear, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA, 2014; Framing Abstraction: Mark, Symbol, Signifier, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA, 2011; Heidi Cho Gallery, New York, NY, 2010; Heliotropo, Galerie Lopez Quiroga, Mexico City, Mexico, 2010. His work appears courtesy of Rose Gallery in Santa Monica.

Ryan Sarah Murphy is a visual artist currently living and working in New York. Recent solo and group shows include among others "Parameters", Liliana Bloch Gallery, Texas (2013); "The Left Over Method", La Couleuvre, Paris (2013); "rMFA Inaugural Biennial 2013", Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, Rochester (2013); "Traces of Omnipresence, 306", 156 project Artspace, New York (2013); "Artworks You Can Smuggle in Your Suitcase", Millenaris Cultural Center, Budapest (2012); "This Is How My Brain Works", Radiator Arts, Long Island City (2012). Her work has been reviewed in ARTNews, The New York Times, WagMag Art Guide, ArtHound, and elsewhere.

Karen Schiff lives and works in New York City. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at dm contemporary, Danese Gallery, Jason Rulnick Gallery, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, Hafnarborg Museum (Iceland), and many others. Her work has been reviewed in many publications, such as Art Papers, Art New England, the Boston Globe, Kunstforum International, and artscope.  Schiff is also an art writer, whose writings have been published in numerous art publications, including Art in America, and Art Journal.

Kate Shepherd has had solo exhibitions at the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.; Portland Institute for Contemporary ArtPortland, OregonOtis College of Art & DesignLos Angeles, California; the Lannan FoundationSanta Fe, New Mexico; and the Chinati FoundationMarfa, Texas, among others. Her work appears courtesy of the artist and Dieu Donné, New York. She is represented by Galerie Lelong in New York.

James Siena is an artist based in New York City. His work has been featured in over 50 group exhibitions, including most notably the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2004 Whitney Biennial. Siena has had work reviewed and published in Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, ARTnews, The Art Newspaper, The Village Voice, New York Sun, San Francisco Chronicle and Art on Paper. James Siena has been represented by The Pace Gallery since 2004. His work appears courtesy of the artist and Dieu Donné, New York.

Molly Smith lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been shown at galleries and institutions including Paula Cooper Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Klemm’s (Berlin), Contemporary Art Center (Cincinatti, OH), Clifford Art Gallery (Colgate University, Hamilton, NY), Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, Roger Bjorkman Gallery (Stockholm, SE), Leo Koenig Inc., and Gallery Min Min (Tokyo). She has been reviews in many publications, such as The New York Times, Artforum, The New Yorker, ArtInfo, New York Magazine, and Columbia Spectator. She is represented by Kate Werble Gallery, New York. Her work appears courtesy of the artist and Dieu Donné, New York.

Ursula Von Rydingsvard lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her sculpture is included in numerous permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Walker Art Center, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, and many others.  Her work appears courtesy of the artist and Dieu Donné, New York. She is represented by Galerie Lelong, New York.

dm contemporary, NYC, is located in the Flatiron District at 39 East 29th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in New York (212) 576-2032
Gallery hours are: Wednesday - Friday 12–6pm, Saturday 12-4pm