The art of paper.

Richard Smith, Blue and Orange, 1966, pastel and collage © Richard Smith Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2015 Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

An exhibition which explores how artists have used paper as the focus of their work is coming to Bath in December.

The exhibition On Paper from the Arts Council Collection opens at the Victoria Art Gallery on 1 December 2018 and runs until 17 February 2019.

On Paper showcases the work of acclaimed 20th-century and contemporary artists who work with paper. Looking beyond the mark-making of drawing to consider the material itself, the exhibition explores how artists have used paper in creative and unusual ways.

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John Stezaker, Mask LXIV, 2007, © the artist Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

Jon Benington, Victoria Art Gallery Manager, said: “Visitors to the exhibition will see an everyday material, paper, transformed into innovative and exciting artworks, many by well-known artists. Admission will be free for local Discovery Card holders, and there will be weekly tours of the exhibition with a curator, as well as paper-themed craft sessions for children.”

The artists represented in On Paper use paper not only as a medium but also as the very matter of their art: it is the subject and the object, the means of production and the artefact produced. Demonstrating a range of approaches to collage, drawing and sculpture, On Paper showcases the work of over 40 artists including Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cornelia Parker, Wolfgang Tillmans and Bridget Riley, among many others.

The exhibition shows how paper is used by artists to create three-dimensional objects, such as Karla Black’s delicate and sensuous hanging sculptures made from sugar paper, hair gel and chalk; Lesley Foxcroft’s two-tone corrugated bricks; Gareth Jones’s cape made from cloakroom tickets; Art and Language’s jigsaw puzzle; and Brian Griffiths’ Ron (1996), a corrugated cardboard recreation of an enormous primitive computer.

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Richard Smith, Blue and Orange, 1966, pastel and collage © Richard Smith Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2015 Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

On Paper will also present collage works by Linder, Eduardo Paolozzi, Roland Penrose, John Stezaker and Tony Swain, who have cut and pasted works using newsprint, postcards and photographs, and paper works which have been rubbed, folded and embossed by Anna Barriball, Wolfgang Tillmans and Langlands & Bell.

This touring exhibition also includes paper which has been actively burnt, torn or otherwise transformed by Cornelia Parker, Tim Davies and Roger Ackling.

For some of the artists in On Paper, the choice of a particular type of paper is an important consideration when making their work. The precision of Bridget Riley and Kenneth Martin’s works is reflected in their preferences for graph paper; Jason Coburn applies scrawled words onto Ministry of Defence headed paper; while Prunella Clough’s ink line negotiates the hills and valleys of corrugated card.

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Margaret Mellis, Dying Daffodils, 1989, oil pastel on paper © the Estate of Margaret Mellis Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication, which will be on sale in the Gallery shop.

There will be lunchtime exhibition tours every Thursday, 6 December 2018 to 31 January 2019 inclusive, from 12.30pm to 1pm. The tours will be free for Discovery Card and ticket holders.

On Saturday 15 December, there will be free ‘Paper Puddings’ family activities, where children can create paper pudding decorations using a range of art papers (10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm).

www.victoriagal.org.uk