Everything but the Paper Cut: Eye-popping Ways Artists Use Paper

A virtual tour of the Museum of Art and Design’s newest exhibition, dedicated to all the surprising ways artists are using paper today.

Andreas Kocks


In the year since the Museum of Art and Design reopened in its new digs on Columbus Circle, they’ve been delivering consistently compelling shows–from punk-rock lace to radical knitting experiments. The newest, “Slash: Paper Under the Knife”, opened last weekend and runs through April 4, 2010.

The focus is paper–and the way contemporary artists have used paper itself as a medium, whether by cutting, tearing, burning, or shredding. In all, the show features 50 artists and a dozen installations made just for the show, including Andreas Kocks’s Paperwork #701G (in the Beginning), seen above. Here’s a sampling of the other works on display:

Mia Pearlman’s Eddy:

Mia Pearlman Eddy

Ferry Staverman, A Space Odesey:

Ferry Staverman Odesey

A detail of a sprawling work by Andrew Scott Ross, Rocks and Rocks and Caves and Dreams:

Andrew Scott Ross

Lane Twitchell’s Peaceable Kingdom (Evening Land):

Lane Twitchell


Béatrice Coron, WaterCity:

Coron WaterCity

Between the Lines, by Ariana Boussard-Reifel: A book with every single word cut out:

Ariana Boussard Reifel Between the Lines

Famed Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s Your House is a laser-cut negative impression of Eliasson’s actual house; as you flip through the pages, you get a tour of the house in cross section:

Olafur Eliasson Your House

Chris Kenny’s Grand Island, part of a series of “maps” depicting a fictional city:

Chris Kenny Grand Island

About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.