Paper's Weight 

Innovation is fostered at Pyramid Atlantic, as "Pushing Paper," an exhibition of work created there showing at Hand Workshop, will testify. The images, books and sculptural objects incorporate multiple disciplines, cross multiple cultures, and best of all, exceed expectations of what a book or a print might look like.

Whether you are attuned to technical processes, "Pushing Paper" is so unencumbered by convention that surely you'll smell the vestige of creative sparks. The layering of intaglio, screen printing, monotype and chine colle on elegant handmade paper in Christopher French's "Dislocations Suite," and the inventive use of letterpress type, screen printing and playful pop-ups in the book "Graffiti" by Debra Weier, for example, both capitalize on the complexities a work of art can acquire when the usual boundaries are lifted.

The late Davi Det Hompson, a beloved Richmonder whose art usually defied categorization, fittingly serves as a guardian angel to the exhibition, introducing himself via a 1993 work made in conjunction with Pyramid Atlantic. In three simple, unframed sheets of toned paper, Hompson's own face appears life-size, each with a different expression, and captioned with a single word from the artist's invented language. Contrasted to the visually dense images throughout the exhibit, Hompson's minimal "Dung Vay" simply challenges the viewer to find a connection between visual imagery and language. In gracing "Pushing Paper" with his likeness, he pushes both artists and viewers to think outside the box conceptually and technically.

— P.R.P.

"Pushing Paper: Prints & Artist Books from Pyramid Atlantic" is on display at the Hand Workshop Art Center, 1812 W. Main St., through Oct. 27. Call 353-0094 for details.


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