Getty Museum Presents Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography

10.02.2018 | Art | BY:

From Friday 27th February, until the 27th May, the J. Paul Getty Museum at LA’s Getty Centre will play host to works by six contemporary artists, who have each expanded the role of paper in photography.

For some, a photograph is simply an image on a piece of paper, but for other photographers, paper is not merely the end result of developing a photograph – it is a material that can be animated in a number of ways. Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, describes how “a number of works blur the line between photography and other mediums”; manipulating the printed photograph by cutting, shaping and combining images takes photography in radically new directions.

Models, 2016 |Promised Gift of Sharyn and Bruce Charnas © Matt Lipps / Getty


Many pieces have been borrowed from Los Angeles-based collectors, institutions, or galleries, and others have been taken from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition provides a context and historical perspective on the experimentation of many contemporary photographers today.

Works spanning the years 1926 to 1967, by Manual Alvarez Bravo, Alexander Rodchenko, and Ei-Q, all feature cut-paper abstractions and figures modeled from paper that have been photographed. These pieces have provided a basis for more daring contemporary experimentation; artists Daniel Gordon, Matt Lipps, and Thomas Demand create paper models and images taken from current events, the internet, or books and magazines. Others, such as Soo Kim, cut and layer photographs, introducing three-dimensional elements into what is traditionally a two-dimensional art form.

Clementines, 2011 | © Daniel Gordon / Courtesy Daniel Gordon and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

The exhibition has been curated by Virginia Heckert, head of the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs, and the works can be viewed from the end of February.

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