The Sunday Painter is pleased to present Assorted Paper, a cross generational exhibition exploring a range of engagements with the medium of paper, by Leo Fitzmaurice, Eva Hesse, Bob Law, Jonathan Monk, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Amalia Pica, Mira Schendel, Samara Scott and Wolfgang Tillmans. Encompassing political, historical, abstract, and everyday engagements with it, the use of the material questions preconceived notions of value and transforms pre-existing function and purpose. Some of the works in the show are born out of quotidian experiences, others posit more contemplative questions, but as a whole demonstrating the breadth of formal and conceptual layers within the medium.
Assorted Paper acknowledges the role of the material across the spectrum of existence, beginning at the lower end of things as we see its position within the transient rhythms of daily life. Smoking, eating, shitting, shopping are all present here. Carefully crafted sculptures, comprised of found cigarette packets from across the globe, are neatly and humorously repurposed into miniature football shirts, offering an anthropological survey of consumer culture. This language is further abstracted through the repurposing of supermarket flyers, the banality of a Tesco offer transformed into a hypnotic cascade. A restaurant receipt continues the show’s everyday engagements, as a drawing of a Daniel Buren work is casually scribbled onto the receipt. The drawing is sold for the same price as the meal on the receipt, as an experience from daily life is melded with artistic appropriation. Turning to more bodily concerns, a cauldron of domestic and household products, including toilet paper and cleaner and turmeric speak of an era of gross consumption and waste. Paper as a tool of record, a document of evidence, is visible in images created using bureaucratic stamps collected from around the world. Repeated imprints of these administrative tools are abstracted as the decorative images suggest freedom from rigid systems of command.
Moving away from these functional aspects of the medium, Assorted Paper also addresses more formal and dreamy propositions. A sheet of photographic paper’s physical folds and curves are photographed to produce geometric, tactile compositions, treating the photograph, and especially photographic paper itself, no longer as a reproductive medium, but as a material object. Nearby a sculptural melee combines objects made from lo-fi building materials with photocopied images. Operating as a site for examining and generating performance and writing, the configuration is a stage for a range of scenarios to unfold. A dense watercolour, made by flooding and sluicing the surface of the paper, invites contemplation as it creates a black pool sucking the light in, forcing a close up encounter in order to properly focus on the field of pigment. Oil on rice paper works present both spontaneity and error, and as such a very human presence is recorded in the making of these works. Fragmented thoughts and memories drift through them, evidence of the human mind itself. Finally, an evocative ink drawing suggests a collision between light and dark, with a biomorphic energy pushing against a dense occultation.