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Despite many believing that a photograph is just an image printed on a two-dimensional piece of paper, there are several artists who have explored and pushed further the boundaries of the medium’s physicality. The exhibition Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography, inaugurating on February 27 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, focuses on the work of six contemporary photographers who are interested in the different ways that paper can convey messages beyond its physical presence.

“The works in this exhibition demonstrate a variety of approaches used by artists to transform paper into objects with greater sculptural presence,” says Virginia Heckert, curator of the exhibition and head of the Department of Photographs at the Getty Museum. It all goes back to the early beginnings, in the 20th century. Artists like Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Alexander Rodchenko and Ei-Q were interested in modifying the final pictures by playing with the possibilities that paper offers. “Cutting and otherwise manipulating the printed photograph, artists from the first half of the twentieth century on have created works in which the cutting, shaping and combining of images take the medium in radically new directions”, states Timothy Potts, the museum’s director.

But Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography will mainly focus on the work of six contemporary artists: Daniel Gordon, Matt Lipps, Thomas Demand, Soo Kim, Christopher Russell, and Christiane Feser. Each one of them blurs the boundaries between photography and sculpture through their artistic practice, which is all about transcending the two-dimensional format we’re too used to. “Exhibitions like this provide a context and historical perspective on the experimentations of many contemporary photographers today”, assets Timothy Potts.
Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography will inaugurate on February 27 and will be on view until May 27 at J. Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles.

Arnau Salvadó

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