Spotlight On the Rose
This fall, the Rose Art Museum has a new exhibit called Into Form. Bringing together a large variety of different pieces, including works done on paper, sculptures and videos, Into Form creates an interesting dynamic between geometric and abstract works which makes walking around the museum an interesting experience.
When I toured the exhibit, I couldn’t help but find myself in awe of all of the pieces of art. One piece in particular that caught my eye was Leon Polk Smith’s 1965 piece “Torn Drawings.” At first glance, I didn’t think much of the piece until I took a step closer to capture the details of his work. The wrinkled edges of the paper, the white that seemed to pour itself between the paper, all breathed more life into an otherwise basic background.
Almost eighty years ago today, a famous American artist by the name of Leon Polk Smith discovered the art of deconstruction — the artist had torn apart pieces of paper and then placed them back together to create something beautiful. Smith himself had stumbled upon the beauty of tearing apart paper by accident. Inspired by the interesting break in color, he began to incorporate deconstruction of paper into his art. One of the things I started to think more about when viewing this piece was the ways in which Smith tore the paper apart. I can imagine the gentle hand that he must have used, letting the paper glide naturally as if to let the art create itself.
If you were to ask me why this piece, out of all the other ones, reached out to me the most, I probably wouldn’t have a clear answer. Could it be the simplicity of it all? Or maybe I was drawn to the contrast between the bright colors and the white lines, all varying in different sides, that broke the once unified color apart? I’m still trying to find a concrete answer. All I know for sure is that “Torn Drawings” is an interesting piece of work that’ll also leave you with an endless list of questions.