Saturday, July 12, 2014

PAPER, verse 1

Paper is our staging ground between thought and physical reality.  Intangible concepts that we wish existed in real life (but probably never will) make their initial step into the physical universe on paper.

More than a thought but less than a fact

For thousands of years, paper has been the preferred delivery system for art, as well as literature and science; it is how we recorded and transmitted our greatest ideas.  Paper hosted Issac Newton's revolutionary ideas in Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica just as it hosted Michelangelo's sketches of the Libyan Sibyl.

But paper is more than just a host for content; its properties can participate in its content.

Detail from an illustration by Arno Sternglass (below)

Milton Glaser

Toulouse Lautrec

Paper has accompanied us on our human journey, enabling us to make our knowledge cumulative by preserving our achievements for the next generation.  So before paper is completely eclipsed by electronic visual displays, I think we owe it a little thought.  This week I will offer a series of perspectives about paper-- its origins, nature and supernatural qualities.



Katherine Thomas said...

Looking forward to reading more of this series! As a paper connoisseur myself!

MORAN said...

Love that Jem magazine. Is it real?

Aleš said...

I agree David, physical characteristics of paper interweave with mark making material and consequently add a certain quality to the content. That's why we like to test every paper in the art store, trying to find if its properties are useful to our expressive needs. Paper also allows for mark making material to retain its own physical characteristics, it allows acrylics to build up a sculptural quality, it allows pencils to have a waxy shine, etc. Electronic visual displays sadly can't provide such experiences.

Richard said...

Three cheers for paper!!

Looking forward to this set.

docnad said...

There's no substitute for paper.