Under the Knife
Sunday, May 10, 2009
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The origins of employing cutting to create art date back to Ancient China, and evolved into popular techniques over the centuries and around the world. At the beginning of the 20th century, art techniques such as decoupage, scrapbooking, silhouetting and decorative paper cutting coincided with the Arts and Crafts movement, which embraced the rejection of industrialization and commercialism. The Modern Art Movement, on the other hand, rejected the conformity to traditional academic and artistic rules and values.
An interesting coincidence occurred at this time when collage, a technique practiced for centuries, was elevated to high art status by Picasso and Braque. No longer associated with decorative cutting and pasting, this practice became synonymous with the avant-garde and comprehensively reexamined the relationship between painting and sculpture.
Today, at the start of a new century, a postmodern esthetic which embraces contradiction, allows for craft and fine art techniques to coalesce harmoniously. Artistic investigations into processes and materials have permitted contemporary artists to draw new conclusions without preconceived notions. What has emerged are graphically complex works that examine the pure technique of cutting and the endless possibilities that can occur when the paintbrush, pencil and chisel are replaced with the knife.
In the exhibition Under the Knife, twelve contemporary artists are using saws, lasers, Xacto knives, and scissors - and employing a variety of media - to sculpt, paint, and draw with cut lines and forms. Each artist possesses her/his own mastery of these seemingly violent tools to create delicate yet often commanding artistic gestures.