Beyond the Surface: The Art of Handmade PaperBeyond the Surface: The Art of Handmade Paper
Beth Campbell, 'Endless Outcomes', 2017. Abaca, pigmented linen and cotton on handmade paper, 18 x 14 3/4 in. (45.7 x 37.5 cm). Gift of Dieu Donné, New York in honor of Nancy and Edwin Barnett.

Part I: September - December 2024 | Part II: December 2024 - March 2025

Beyond the Surface: The Art of Handmade Paper

More than just a surface to write, draw, or sketch on, paper is a dynamic art form that encourages collaboration and welcomes spontaneity. Beyond the Surface: The Art of Handmade Paper explores the shape-shifting quality of paper—how it can transform from pulpy fiber into vibrant works of art through hand papermaking. This exhibition features handmade paper creations showcasing a variety of techniques that expand our understanding of the medium.


The works presented here were created at Dieu Donné, a leading arts organization in New York that offers artists support, training, and resources to create contemporary works of art using handmade paper processes. For many of the artists featured in the exhibition it is their first foray into hand papermaking. Working with an expert staff collaborator, the artists transform fibers — such as cotton and linen—into a variety of forms ranging from vibrant pulp paintings to delicately layered art objects. Together, the artists and studio collaborators lift, press, blow, pour, and pull the pulp to create unique works of art. This requires trusting the materials, working together, and embracing unplanned discoveries along the way.

All exhibitions at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art are underwritten by the MBMA Exhibition Fund.

Major annual support is provided by Maggie and Milton Lovell, with generous annual funding from Anonymous, Gloria and Kenneth Boyland, Holly and Paul T. Combs, Deborah and Bob Craddock,Michael and Maria Douglass, Eleanor and William Halliday, Debi and Galen Havner, Buzzy Hussey and Hal Brunt, Jay and Kristen Keegan, Dr. James Patterson, Dr. Rushton Patterson, Carl and Valerie Person, and Bill Townsend.

Exhibition Programs

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Artist

Curators

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Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora

Efe Igor Coleman

Efe Igor Coleman is the Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Academic Engagement at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Coleman is currently a Ph.D Candidate at Yale University.

Efe Igor Coleman

Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora

Efe Igor Coleman

Efe Igor Coleman is the Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Academic Engagement at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Coleman is currently a Ph.D Candidate at Yale University.

Program Recordings

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Resources

The 901 Black American Portraits Soundtrack

The 901 Black American Portraits Soundtrack

Listen to a soundtrack of Memphis music that exemplifies Black Love, Power, and Joy. The 901 Black American Portraits Soundtrack celebrates the vibrant legacy and future of Black musicians in the city of Memphis. This playlist was curated by Jared “Jay B” Boyd, a Memphis-based multimedia artist, journalist, DJ, and on-air personality.

Listen Now

MCA Exhibition Questionnaire

MCA Exhibition Questionnaire

Help us generate the fullest picture possible of the MCA experience.
Submitting a questionnaire, which includes a request for an image of an artwork, is essential to be considered for part of the exhibition.

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?

The American art theorist Linda Nochlin (1931-2017) posed this question as the title of a pioneering article in 1971. This essay was considered one of the first major works of Feminist art history, it has become a set text for those who study art internationally, and it is influential in many other fields.

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? by Linda Nochlin