Jill Sylvia confounds with her mind-boggling hand-cut paper art

19 June 2012

Take a closer look at Jill Sylvia’s work – it’s hard not to be impressed. She painstakingly hand-cuts out the negative spaces between grids on ledger paper to amazing effect (and scale). By systematically subtracting elements, the surface is transformed into a lattice; a material language that runs throughout her art.

The ghost-like extracts of accounts books and balance sheets are striking, but no doubt, the architectural models steal the show due to their technical sophistication. Using paper associated with finance lends an interesting conceptual element as well as aesthetic quality to the sculptures of the iconic American power-houses depicted. The gridded structures seem to hint at the systems concealed within the actual architecture, as well as creating a beautiful contrast between solid and void.

Square by square, sheet by sheet, these constructions must be pretty monotonous, and hypnotic to make. I think it’s fair to say Jill Sylvia is very patient, and a maestro with a scalpel!


Jill Sylvia: Untitled (Jefferson Memorial)


Jill Sylvia: Untitled (vertical installation)


Jill Sylvia: Untitled (U.S Capitol Building)


Jill Sylvia: Untitled (White House)


Jill Sylvia: New York Stock Exchange

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Maya Davies

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