Thursday, September 30, 2010

minimal destruction

When I was first overlooking the submissions to Cutting Edge I was blown away by the large number of amazing works that were incredibly minimal. Generally speaking I am not a minimalist kind of girl but a handful of these works really moved me as they tethered this incredible balance of minimal and yet rich with meaning. Most of these works did not end up making sense in the final version of the exhibit but I just could not get the work of John Paul Morabito out of my head.

John Paul's work is expertly woven natural silk that is the carefully and precisely burned. I love the combination of the slow nurturing domestic act of weaving with the violent, rapid, and uncontrollable act of burning. (Though because of his tools he controls it quite well almost to the point of obsessively conquering the fire.)

John Paul has also buried, stained, and deconstructed a number of his works in the past.

He states:
Hand processes manipulate materials to create both form and content in my artwork. I begin at the loom, building cloth line by line. Once woven, the work is destructed—either through an immediate intervention or a slow, mediated process. This method of working juxtaposes an act of creation with an act of destruction. The sacrifice of cloth woven by my own hands is not a violent act, but rather a quiet contemplation of every individual moment that is destructed. In this I invoke Penelope who each night sat at the loom to unravel the threads she had woven that day. Inherent to this work is the compulsory behavior of the obsessional...

Perhaps left over from the days when we first realized our mortality, we have built into us a yearning for all things impermanent. We find what is fleeting to be the most beautiful.

The hand that makes is the hand that destroys.

Beautifully said words to discuss beautiful work.

I do not include this image because either of us were happy that the band blocked most viewers from his work at the opening but...It gives you a sense of the scale of the work which I think is essential to the beauty of the work.

John Paul will be speaking at the artist's talk on October 8.

See more of his work here.

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