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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Art exhibit: Cut Up/Cut Out 
24th-Jan-2017 08:59 am
Summer
On Sunday, Mom and I went to Cut up/Cut Out at the Bedford Gallery. It was mostly paper cutting, with some metal and wood cuts. There were also random extra exhibit pieces, like a pile of bamboo that supposedly had a guy's face in it if you looked at it just right. As is usual for art, there were a few pieces that I really liked, some that were interesting or challenging to understand, and a lot that left me unmoved.

And, as is is often my complaint, the curating left something to be desired. The lighting made for challenging viewing due to shadows not being where they were supposed to be as a part of the art. The bamboo piece was in front of a set of wall-mounted art so there was no plain background for contrast. Most of the labels did not give sufficient context to understand all of the aspects of the piece - materials, concept, etc. There were two paper mache animals included at the base of a huge wall mounted gardening scene. Were they a part of the scene? Did the curators think they belonged right there?

I enjoyed some of the abstract art and some of the massively detailed work. The coral reef and the butterfly were two of my favorites. The doorway perspective piece had a lot of forced depth to it that I appreciated.

This winter the Bedford Gallery presents Cut Up/Cut Out, an exhibition of local, national, and international artists who explore the captivating methods of decorative piercing and cutting, using a wide range of media from paper and plastic to metal and rubber. The transformative nature of cutting into and through a surface provides endless possibilities for converting the material from opaque to transparent, from flat to sculptural, from rigid to delicate, and from ordinary to exquisite. The process and precision required for this method of art-making is laborious, technically demanding, and always astonishing. Organized by the Bedford Gallery, Cut Up/Cut Out will travel nationally through 2020.

The art of cutting paper dates back thousands of years, with early artworks coming from 6th century China. Originally a decorative handcraft for women, Chinese paper-cutting eventually expanded into rural areas, becoming a staple at religious ceremonies and festivals. By the 14th century, paper-cutting spread to the rest of the world bringing in a new wave of folk art traditions. Cut Up/Cut Out honors both innovation and tradition with a selection of over 50 artists representing diverse styles and techniques.


Sample images are here: http://bit.ly/2b28Rh6
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