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Painting with Pulp: Peter Sowiski’s Explorations in Paper at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum

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Peter Sowiski’s RQ27-Shadow (2005) depicts its namesake in full scale. The sections not displayed on the gallery wall are stacked in the wooden box nearby. Peter Sowiski, Pulp Painter: A Survey is on view at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Tech through December 13, 2013.
Peter Sowiski’s RQ27-Shadow (2005) depicts its namesake in full scale. The sections not displayed on the gallery wall are stacked in the wooden box nearby. Peter Sowiski, Pulp Painter: A Survey is on view at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Tech through December 13, 2013.

This survey of works by Peter Sowiski shows pulp painting at its best: a sophisticated vehicle for texture, color, and shape as powerful as any brushstroke. The distance between drawing and paper is collapsed in the works on display at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Tech through December 13. The exhibition takes a comprehensive look at the ways the masterly papermaker and printmaker has used handmade paper as an integral part of his work throughout the decades.

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Divided into two rooms, the exhibition places the newer, mostly larger works in the front and older, more playful examples in the back. A television playing video in the hallway between the two rooms shows footage of the process—helpful for anyone having trouble visualizing how to make four-foot-long sheets of paper by hand. Sowiski explains in his artist statement that in these recent, larger works he aims for a “symbiosis between the delicate qualities of the paper and the power of scale.” Embedding the imagery into the very fiber of the paper makes the works feel complete in and of themselves, rather like sculpture. Sowiski’s deep integration of image and support unique to papermaking generates artwork that is much greater than the sum of its seemingly simple parts.

-Ivy Williams