Riverdale art gallery Elisa Contemporary Art is making the trip east for a special Hamptons show, Cut, Rolled, and Burnt II, at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton. The exhibit, which runs from Thursday, August 22–September 24, features four contemporary artists—Michael Buscemi, Amy Genser, Don Morris and Wayne Zebzda—who are taking paper to extremes, while creating original visions and art.
Each of these four artists approach paper in a different way from the others, but by showing them together, Elisa Contemporary owner Lisa Cooper presents a wide range of applications for the medium. The work on display, and the ideas conveyed from one piece to the next, is proof positive that paper remains full of possibility in contemporary art.
First, the white paper collages of California artist Michael Buscemi aim to eliminate all existing media and be left only with light, shape and shadow. He takes extra thick rag paper and with a swift and fluid cut, creates thousands of small, shaped pieces. These severed paper pieces are then built up and layered, allowing the shadows and shapes to organically form, before being set with a polymer gel.
Amy Genser’s exploration of paper as medium began in a paper-making and bookmaking class she took while studying for her graduate degree in graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design. Today, she masterfully manipulates paper—each piece being cut, rolled and stacked to mimic organic forms and natural processes. This “quilling,” which dates back to the Renaissance, begins as flat piles of paper and then builds and grows into three-dimensional constructions filled with color, texture and patterns.
Don Morris carefully manipulates paper comic book pages, cutting and folding them to construct colorful, undulating surfaces highlighted by gentle peaks and curves. From a distance, the viewer sees only the interplay of color and texture, but the super heroes surface upon approach. These heroes fight and fly, speaking through words balloons and comic book text, which are clearly visible throughout the pieces.
Hawaii based artist, Wayne Zebzda was born in Connecticut and started his journey out west attending the San Francisco Art Institute as a painting major on a full scholarship. With day jobs in construction, he integrated the tools of this trade with his art, creating sculptural and installation works, as well as his carbon smoke drawings made with a blowtorch.
“I have to move continuously while the smoke pours out of the torch. If you have ever seen the film footage of Jackson Pollack painting, it is a similar continuous movement, his with drips, mine with smoke and the added possibility of catching the drawing on fire,” Zebzda says, adding, “I enjoy the immediacy and physicality of drawing. The welding torch has the pressure turned down low, which makes it sooty and smoky.” He works back into the “drawings” with erasers and brushes to reveal what’s underneath and then adds a clear fixative to set the soot in place.
Elisa Contemporary and artist Amy Genser will be hosting an opening reception for Cut, Rolled, and Burnt II on Saturday, August 24 from 4-7 p.m. at The Design Studio, 2393 Main Street in Bridgehampton.
Elisa Contemporary Art has been featured in a number of publications, including Ocean Home magazine, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, New York Spaces and The New York Times.
For more information, visit their website at elisacontemporaryart.com.