I love materials that have some translucency and those works that looks like they’ve been pulled and stretched like pizza dough. When I came across Peter Gentenaar’s paper sculptures all those loves were combined.
That’s paper! And it’s also 120×140 centimeters – not small at all! Peter is amazing – he’s a former printmaker who wanted to be able to print deeper engravings and so needed to start making his own paper.
The traditional paper making machines didn’t suit his needs so he, of course, built his own. His machine as he says, created a situation whereby “beating pulp a long time, [caused] an extraordinary play of forces to occur during the drying process of my paper sculpture. The paper shrinks considerably, up to 40%, and the force of this puts the non-shrinking bamboo framework under stress.” So the bamboo are the darker sections of these pieces and the paper is in between, being pulled into shapes by the drying action of the paper pulp. Insane! It sounds a bit like a happy accident.
These works are huge – this one is against a house! As Peter mentions in his artist statement, by working with materials that in many ways shapes itself it’s a very direct form of art and creation.
The above piece is called “Double Heart” and is on display in this photo at Abbaye de Saint Riquier, France.
I really love the pieces where the bamboo parts seem to be picking up the color most of all. As Peter discusses, his works are very comparable to leaves in that there are fibers and then the connective tissue.
I highly recommend checking out his entire portfolio – incredible!