Sticky Business

[If you are reading this in Google Reader, please click here to go to my blog, where you will find more than just this article. Thank you.]
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
Detail below

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

 Detail below

 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
Detail below

 Charles Spurrier, Pink Bombs the Moon,  tape, pigment, paper photographs, steel; at Thatcher Projects, New York City

Detail below

I’m afraid to look too far for artists who use duct tape, but they’re out there.


annell4 said...

Wonderful post. I love Marietta Hoferer's work!

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for posting, Joanne. I'm thinking that your own recent adventures with duct tape prompted a new view of tape's utility, but Marietta Hoferer and Mark Khaisman have turned tape into an art material par excellence.

Unknown said...

The silver chairs in that space are so evocative - WOW. Also knocked out by the last piece, Pink Bombs...
As one who lives quite far off the beaten Art World path, I so appreciate your blog and the artists whose work you share with me. -sus