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On Paper

John Stezaker (2)For much of its 2000-year history, paper has been a precious commodity, highly valued by artists. On Paper is a new touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection. Artists have used paper to construct three-dimensional objects as diverse as Karla Black’s delicate and sensuous hanging structures made from sugar paper, hair gel and chalk, Lesley Foxcroft’s two-tone corrugated bricks, Gareth Jones’ cloakroom ticket cape and Damien Hirst’s glass and paper Relationships.

Also considered will be works on paper which have been burnt, torn and cut by artists such as Roger Ackling, Cornelia Parker, Tim Davies and Simon Periton. Collage is perhaps the most obvious form of cut paper work and the show will include a small group of collages by Roland Penrose, Eduardo Paolozzi, John Stezaker and Tony Swain, as well as paper works which have been rubbed, folded and embossed by artists such as James Richards, Anna Barriball, Wolfgang Tillmans and Langlands & Bell.

For some artists, the choice of a particular paper was an important consideration, and these include graph paper (Bridget Riley, Kenneth Martin), headed paper (Jason Coburn), an old envelope (Margaret Mellis), ordnance survey map (Tony Carter), blotting paper (Eleanor Wood) and corrugated card (Prunella Clough). Finally, a small group of artists have drawn paper itself in the form of theatre tickets, books and cards (Derek Boshier, Tania Kovats and Kate Davis). The exhibition will also include a number of loans from the British Council Collection.

Image Credit: John Stezaker, Mask LXIV (2007) Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.

24 May – 14 July: Art Galleries

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