Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Art and Design NYC
Works on Paper at the MAD in NYC
It’s only been open for a little more than a year now, but the Museum of Art and Design’s (somewhat controversial) new home on Columbus Circle in NYC has never felt more essential than with this terrific exhibition, Slash: Paper Under the Knife. This is the third show in the MAD’s Materials and Process series, but it’s the first in the new building, and, as far as we’re concerned, by far the most successful. The concept is simple: 52 artists from 16 countries expressing themselves using a single material, paper, which they cut (often with lasers), hack, burn, shred, rip, roll, and/or paste, to create paper art of often spectacular scenes and cool illusions and bold statements about, among other things, politics and art and consumption and language and life.
Much of the fun here lies in the visual trickery of the works on paper. Tom Friedman?s art, for example, has carefully sliced what must have been dozens of cardboard Quaker Oats packages and re-assembled them into an absurdly elongated whole. It looks like photoshop, or a funhouse mirror, in sculptural form. Ariana Boussard-Reife’s piece “Between the Lines” is another favorite, for which the artist carefully extracted every word in a book, then piled the detritus next to the chewed-up “container.” Anne-Karin Furunes has a couple of wonderfully obsessive portraits, created entirely by punching differently-sized holes into black paper, thereby creating “pixels”. It’s like a Chuck Close art piece, but done with negative space. We also really liked Mia Pearlman’s blustery “Inrush”, in which spirals of paper cascade into the gallery as if blown through the museum’s recessed windows (Pearlman’s is not the only piece that makes good use of the MAD’s unusual light; there are several nicely-done, backlit silhouettes here, too).
The Museum of Art and Design caused quite an uproar in certain groups when they unveiled their plans to move into, and redesign, the “Lollipop Building” on the southern arc of Columbus Circle in NYC. But when we saw the Slash show, the place was far more crowded than the MAD had ever been in its former home on 53rd Street, next to the MoMA. And with the recent opening of the super-designy restaurant and lounge Robert @ MAD on the art museum’s top floor, it seems to us that the relocation has been a success, and a welcome addition (along with the Time Warner Center NYC and its shops and restaurants) to the once-decrepit, now-revitalized anchor to the Upper West Side.
Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Art & Design NYC Details
Slash: Paper Under the Knife will be on display at the Museum of Art and Design on the Upper East Side in NYC through April 4, 2010. The MAD is open on Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays, until 9:00 p.m., when admission is also “pay what you wish” after 6:00. The art museum is closed on Mondays. For more information, please see the Museum of Art & Design’s website.
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