The Hippo


May 30, 2020








“Untitled” (Portrait) by Nikki Rosato (2016). Courtesy image.

Upcoming “Deep Cuts” programming

Currier After Hours: “Deep Cuts” Explored: Thursday, March 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., explore the art of paper, talk by Randy Garber and music by Julie Rhodes, art-making station, cash bar, general admission rates apply
Creative Studio Saturday: Rolled Paper Design: Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., learn how to quill paper and make your own work of art; free admission for NH residents 10 a.m. to noon
ARTalk: Updated Use of Traditional Paper: Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m., Jane South, Randal Thurston and Lisa Nilsson discuss how they use paper in unusual ways
Focus Tour, “Deep Cuts” and “BioLath”: Saturday, March 18, at 11:30 a.m., tour of two new contemporary exhibitions
“Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting”
Where: Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester:
When: On view through May 21
Admission: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for youth
Contact:, 669-6144

Not your grandma’s paper cutting
“Deep Cuts” gives the form a modern spin

By Kelly Sennott

 “Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting” rejects the idea we’re moving into a paperless world. 

Everything within the multi-room exhibition, on view at the Currier Museum of Art through May 21, is constructed via paper, from Mark Wagner’s dollar-bill broom to Randy Garber’s installation featuring player piano scrolls and boxes.
“When you think about it, most artists start on paper. Even if you’re a sculptor, you’re probably sketching something before you start putting your hands on clay,” said the museum’s assistant curator, Samantha Cataldo, during a walk-through of the gallery days before the opening. “For us at the Currier, we wanted to do something that was new and different, that our audiences wouldn’t have seen before. Cut paper is not something you come across a lot, but there are obviously a lot of artists doing this.”
Paper-cutting’s origins are in China, Europe and the Middle East, but the 36 artists who’ve created 41 pieces for this show tackle paper-cutting in modern ways, from technique and style to theme and intent, turning this centuries-old practice upside down. It’s easy to appreciate the intricacy and labor required to make these objects, especially if you made paper snowflakes in grade school. 
“There’s an entry point for everyone, because you’ve probably done something like this before,” Cataldo said.
“Deep Cuts” technically starts at the museum’s entrance, where visitors can add cut-out shapes from junk mail to a community collage, and it continues through two gallery rooms following several themes.
One segment contains art made from maps — like Nikki Rosato’s portrait bust of her partner, which is constructed from cut-up highway strips. Another looks at money and consumerism, exemplified in Mark Wagner’s “Very Expensive Push Broom,” which contains $80 worth of bristles, shaped from sliced $1 bills. 
Many pieces are sculpted from old books or papers. August Ventimiglia’s “Borrowed Lines, from Huckleberry Finn” is a collage made up of the underlines found in a secondhand Mark Twain book. Stefana McClure’s “Manner of Death: Natural” is a knitted blanket made from autopsy and death reports of detainees held in Iraq and Afghanistan American prison facilities.
“This is very unsavory information, and she’s totally transformed it into these knitted forms,” Cataldo said. “There are some things in the show that you have to get really close to before you realize what it is. … Everything is really beautiful and really amazing to look at, but there’s always just a little more behind it.”
With Lisa Nilsson’s work, it’s the technique you notice first; she made her pink, purple and white piece by quilling, which involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper. It was first practiced by nuns during the Renaissance and later taken up by 18th-century women to pass the time. You may not recognize the design until you read the side panel. (It’s a male pelvis.)
Yuken Teruya’s “Tory Burch” is made from shopping bags that feature tiny cut trees dangling from the inside, and Li Hongbo’s “Rainbow” contains colorful accordion art. Unfolded, they take abstract, beautiful shapes. Folded, they resemble guns. 
“It’s an interesting play because it changes how you think about it,” Cataldo said. “Folded up, it’s a menacing object. Unfolded, it’s beautiful.” 

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