Present Bodies: Papermaking at Dieu Donné, presents the work of Swoon, Noel W. Anderson, Lesley Dill, Candy Gonzalez, Lina Puerta, Paul Wong, Saya Woolfalk, and Tricia Wright. These eight visual artists, all working in hand papermaking, draw upon paper’s connection to ritual offerings, to the body, and to paper’s role as a keeper of memory. Paper's historic use in communicating personal memory, collective history, and spiritual beliefs manifests more deeply when we reflect on its ancient history–before it became a substrate for the written word or images. The earliest recorded reference to paper dates back to A.D. 105 in China, where paper acted as a votive or offering, a material used in faith-based ritual practice as an aid to speak to deities or to ward off evil spirits. Much of the artwork in this exhibition takes the form of shrines, altars, or reliquaries, alluding to connections between ritual practice and our contemporary understanding of what holds collective memory and its ancient antecedents.
All of the works in this exhibition were created in the studios of Dieu Donné, finding their forms in handmade paper. For more than four decades, Dieu Donné has worked at the forefront of a movement to forge this powerfully subversive medium.This storied institution was founded in New York in order to explore the untapped potential of hand papermaking as an art medium. Artists participating in this exhibition include master papermakers like Paul Wong and long-time hand papermaker Lesley Dill, who have worked with paper for over 30 years, as well as artists that have recently learned the papermaking process through the Dieu Donné Workspace or through their professional studio programs. These programs pair artists from a wide variety of practices with master papermakers to explore the creative possibilities of hand papermaking, fostering experimentation and innovative processes. Present Bodies honors this mix of artists at various stages in their creative careers in hopes of fostering a similar sense of wonder and possibility to what is held within the walls of the Dieu Donné studio, now in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
For more information on tours of this exhibition for school groups, please visit our BRIC House Tours page.
ABOUT DIEU DONNÉ
Dieu Donné is a leading non-profit cultural institution dedicated to serving established and
emerging artists through the collaborative creation of contemporary art using the process of hand
papermaking. Dieu Donné was founded in 1976 by Susan Gosin and Bruce Wineberg to explore
the untapped potential of hand papermaking as an art medium. They introduce artists from a wide
variety of practices to the creative possibilities in hand papermaking, fostering experimentation
and creating innovative works of art. Their work is realized through extensive collaborations with
artists. Dieu Donné strives to teach a new visual language, providing a transformative experience
that often leads to artistic breakthroughs.
The 3,000 square-foot Gallery in BRIC House has soaring 18-foot ceilings that permit major exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists and curators.
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