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Dieu Donné is a leading non-profit cultural institution dedicated to serving established and emerging artists through the collaborative creation of contemporary art using the process of hand papermaking.

Seeing Things As They Really Are: Three-Dimensional Paper Works at Dieu Donné

curated by Jenny Gerow

June 13 – september 8, 2019
reception: Thursday, june 13, 2019, 6 – 8 pm


Yard Work Gallery, BLDG 92, Lobby (Part I)
Dieu Donné, Building 3, Suite 602 (Part II)

RSVP required, please click here.

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What I hope for in my pieces is a balance of seeing what the things really are and all that that implies—their use value, their history, their birth into the world—and, at the same time, recognizing the works’ very formal qualities in terms of color, composition, and line, which is where my part as an artist comes in. 

—B. Wurtz

This group exhibition mines the archive at Dieu Donné to examine the organization’s rich legacy of sculptural and three-dimensional papermaking. Founded in 1976, Dieu Donné has been at the forefront of an artistic movement to challenge the notion of paper as mere support for the image. The choice to create dimensional works in paper pulp is not just for the material’s aesthetic and physical qualities, but for the powerfully subversive, humorous, political, and emotional associations that paper and the printed word embody. This exhibition focuses on works whose overlooked and underappreciated subject matter are imbued within these inherent associations with paper: objects like plastic bags, cardboard, chains, plastic tubing, dishrags, and CDs. Paperworks by Jim Hodges, Lynda Benglis, and Mark Bradford affix the dual bodily traits of fragility and strength onto discarded materials. B. Wurtz and Michael St. John use whimsy and play to render their assembled food objects. Nari Ward molds a cardboard sign, reminiscent of one used by those seeking charity, that relates subject lines from a phishing scam meant to prey on our desires. More elemental objects like smoke, fire, and ice are captured by Rosemarie Fiore and Saul Melman documented in paper, their ephemeral traces imprinted on the rag. 

Artists include: Lynda Benglis, Mark Bradford, David Kennedy Cutler, E.V. Day, Lesley Dill, Ming Fay, Rosemarie Fiore, Ethan Greenbaum, Ann Hamilton, Jim Hodges, Lael Marshall, Saul Melman, Timothy E. Palmer, Brie Ruais, Jean Shin, Michael St. John, Richard Tuttle, Nari Ward, and B. Wurtz.

Press release available here.
Exhibition brochure available here.


IMAGE: Nari Ward, Re: Loan, 2018.

This exhibition is organized by Dieu Donné with the generous support of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

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About the Curator:

Jenny Gerow is the Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at BRIC, a not-for-profit cross disciplinary organization based in Downtown Brooklyn that presents and incubates work by New York based artists. Gerow graduated with a MA in Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an BA in Literature from the University of Virginia. She has previously held positions at the International Center of Photography and the Detroit Institute of Arts. At BRIC she has curated the group exhibitions Public Access/Open Networks, and Reenactment; and the solo exhibition Mary Mattingly: What Happens After. She has also co-curated three iterations of the BRIC Biennial. Gerow leads BRIC’s contemporary art fellowships, residencies, and open call opportunities. She has presented talks and collaborated with numerous New York institutions including Residency Unlimited, A Blade of Grass, Electronic Arts Intermix, Wassaic Project, Green Wood Cemetery, Trestle Gallery, and the New York Public Library.