Paper

The Square and Paper

TJ Mabrey     Detail without Black Stick      Embossed, Cut, Folded Manilla Paper      22 x 22 inches each

Though I am primarily recognized as a sculptor in stone, paper has always been my secondary medium of choice, going back to the late 1970s. My exploration of embossed paper and cellulose pulp (the origins of paper) is the focus of my current work.

I have limited the direction of these new experiments by my use, and consideration, of the square. The foundation of the work is embossing the paper, which is done on a large etching press, or by hand, pressing pulp through a template.

TJ Mabrey     WHITE and 9UP      Studio Installation
TJ Mabrey     WHITE Squares on Square      Embossed, Folded, Cut Archival Paper
22 x 22 x 1.25 inches

The resulting pieces of paper and pulp are then incised, folded, manipulated, repeated, possibly painted, and made available for an endless modular installation, though the occasional single unit may seem worthy of framing.

This repetition of process is used to call attention to the variation within the sameness of each piece of paper. At the same time, it helps deny closure of an installation presented in a modular format, which could be continued up, down, or sideways, ad infinitum, while still allowing the work to stand as a complete work at any point.

Repetition is found in patterns of nature. It is intrinsic to science, where repetition is used to verify a hypothesis. It is found in the structure of DNA and the study of genetics. Repetition in art can be a useful tool to express abstracted ideas in nature and science. And so I am exploring the concept through paper.

TJ Mabrey      9 Diagonals on 9 Squares
Embossed, cut and folded paper      12 x 12 inches
TJ Mabrey      Untitled
Embossed, cut and folded paper      12 x 12 inches, backlit
TJ Mabrey      Untitled
Embossed, cut and folded paper with plastic      10 x 12 inches
TJ Mabrey       No Title
Embossed, cut and folded aluminum, colored paper
TJ Mabrey     Squaring The Circle      Embossed, Cut, Folded Manilla Paper       22 x 22 inches
TJ Mabrey      Black Wedge      Embossed, Cut, Folded Paper      24 x 16 x 3 inches