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I’ve been aware of Marietta Hoferer’s elegant tape-on-paper abstractions for some time. Indeed, I’ve posted about them here, and included them in Textility, a show I co-curated with Mary Birmingham at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey recently. But seeing in a period of several days works by three other artists who use tape, this post took shape.
Hoferer's work is so subtle, it’s hard to see it in photographs, which is why I’ve pulled images from her website. This detail shows the mosaic of reinforced plastic tape that forms a pattern
Marietta Hoferer, C3, pencil and tape on paper, 36 x 36 inches
Here, all the artists use some version of plastic tape—reinforced packing tape or the clear or brown stuff that’s used to keep the contents of boxes from spilling out. What appeals to me about the work done by each of these artists is that the material is handled differently and well, suggesting that it’s more than a gimmick. Hoferer remains the gold standard—or the tape standard—for me, but here's a look at what else I saw and liked.
At the Independent Art Fair in March: Rob Pruitt at Gavin Brown, New York City. Everything is painted silver and wrapped with tape, or covered with aluminum foil
At the Volta art fair in March: Mark Khaisman at Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia. The artist did portraits, too (visible in the background, above) but it was the chair I found compelling
Brown plastic packing tape with a light source behind the image
Charles Spurrier, Pink Bombs the Moon, tape, pigment, paper photographs, steel; at Thatcher Projects, New York City
I’m afraid to look too far for artists who use duct tape, but they’re out there.