T293 is pleased to present Papers, an exhibition of new paper works by Brooklyn-based artist Ethan Cook. The paper show is part of the curatorial project Also on View, idealized by the gallery as a new approach towards experimentation, where different artistic languages are put into dialogue, opening further possibilites of discussion. Inserted within the gallery exhibition program, the project is also designed to reactivate the space, understood as a living organism in unceasing transformation.
Engaging with material existentialism in his practice of woven canvas, Ethan Cook uses an equivalent approach to his paper making process. Using the paper as a material to be worked with instead of on, the works are made by dipping a mold into a vat of pigmented pulp which is then pulled out, pressed, and then finally dried out.
By constructing color using nothing but pigment, earth material and water, the artist showcases not only the structure of color, but also the act of manufacturing it. As the viewers go through the handmade color sheets, geometrically composed into combinations of four, they’re able to foresee hints of what has been gone throughout the process. All the idiosyncrasies and eventual missteps that inevitably comes up are part of the process, and consequently as part of the works. Furthermore, they also stand as tracks of the artist’s presence, and evidence that the work is actually hand – and not machine – made. The act of producing color, contemporarily as producing matter, is Cook’s method to subvert abstract painting and to do something radical within the confines of art making.