Gail Cunningham: Recollections in Cut Paper

March 5, 2011 - June 13, 2011

  

Philadelphia artist Gail Cunningham works with the delicate medium of cut paper. Using a single sheet, Cunningham meticulously cuts out her imagery - typically architectural structures and furnishings. Each composition is carefully planned as many of the intricate details feature very thin strands of paper. Cunningham describes the design phase as arduous because it is a critical part of the process to ensure that the composition can be successfully achieved. First, she draws the design on the back of the paper using different colored pencils to indicate the positive versus negative spaces. When the drawing stage is complete, she hand cuts the paper. Although any mistake could ruin the piece, she describes this part of the process as "meditative" and "cathartic."

In this particular series, "The City Recollected," Cunningham continues to explore her fascination with architecture and interiors as the compositions reference buildings from different Philadelphia neighborhoods. Although not exact replications, the architectural structures are places that she remembers through the filter of her memory and the passage of time. Like dreams, many of Cunningham's spaces are implausible. Yet, that same uncertainty encourages the viewer to investigate further and visually meander through each. And as always, when viewing Cunningham's work, one easily becomes mesmerized by the artist's control and mastery of the medium.

www.gailcunningham.com