In the ever-evolving world of technology, it can be easy to forget our roots. For artists this means paper; paper is used in printmaking, photography, and sculpture, as well as other art forms, all of which are centuries old. Paper is incredibly versatile and has a colorful history that spans history and cultures.
Due to the rich history of paper, the Prix Canson was created to celebrate artists the world over who show a truly spectacular skill with paper, and this year’s finalists were as unique and diverse as paper itself. The winner of the Prix Canson wins a solo show exhibition, publications in mainstream and specialist press, 10,000 euros of Canson paper, and the purchase of one of the works of paper art by the Fonds Canson pour l’Art et le Papier.
ruby onyinyechi amanze was born in Nigeria and now works and lives in New York. Her works use pencil and ink to depict a world of amanze’s own creation.
Bethany Collins is a US native who uses classroom materials – such as paper and graphite – to explore how language and race interact.
David Shrigley is from the UK and is known for the satirical comments he puts in his art. Many of his submissions were oil stick and gesso on paper.
Lucy Skaer is also from the UK. Her art moves fluidly between dimensions and mediums and includes geometric themes.
The winner of the 2016 Prix Canson is artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. She combines drawing, painting, and photo transfer on large-scale paper compositions to create a complex reflection of her transcultural identity. These submissions used photos from Crosby’s archive, anything from photos of friends and family to photos of popular Nigerian musicians, which she used as a backdrop for her characters. She mimics classical western painting styles to create these characters so that these works reveal the overlap and intermingling of cultures and the influence that has on people who live away from their homeland.
All of this year’s finalists were absolutely spectacular. It was really encouraging to see the diversity of the artists and their works. It really goes to show that paper isn’t just for drawing on; it can be used by anyone in any way. New and recent works by the finalists are on view at the Drawing Center through July 1st.
Special Thanks to Kristy from Nadine Johnson & Associates Inc