British artist Lucy Williams makes vibrant paper cutouts of midcentury modern buildings and interiors that are so realistic you might do a double take before realizing they aren’t photographs. There’s Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre, and the majestic, if perhaps overrated, facade of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Seagram Building. Lesser known examples of mid-century modernism get the papercut treatment, too: indoor pools, apartment blocks, and even an old dining hall are rendered in the saturated hues of the era’s sunny optimism.
To create these works, Williams starts by drawing a detailed blueprint from a photograph. Her pieces consist of layered materials, including paper, wool, gravel, and cotton. Since her work requires layering, Williams must work “back to front,” she says. “You have to have a sense of what you’re making in reverse, and the image emerges at the end of the process.”
A book of Williams’s work is out now on Roads–a perfect gift for your modern design-obsessed friends, and at $70, a hell of a lot cheaper than an Eames chair.