Paper Over is an installation in the Crown Street Window space at Artspace, New Haven by New Haven resident and artist, Jacquelyn Gleisner. This installation uses folded paper pyramids to explore color and space, creating an optical trick from various vantage points. A straight-on view of the work makes the installation appear two-dimensional like a painting, but as a viewer walks or drives past the Crown Street window, the dimensions of the piece are revealed. The forms are made of painted paper, culled from recycled works by the artist. The display will be on view through April 29, in conjunction with the Annual Gala Exhibition: Paris, Texas.


About the artist: Jacquelyn Gleisner is an artist, writer, and educator. She holds an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA with honors from Boston University. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, as well as internationally in Italy, Finland, and Botswana. Gleisner was awarded a Fulbright grant to Finland in 2010,  and she also participated in an artist’s exchange in Botswana through the Art in Embassies Program in October 2015. She writes for a bi-monthly column called “New Kids on the Block” for the Art21 magazine. Residing in New Haven, Gleisner currently teaches at Albertus Magnus College and Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford.


Artist Statement: In 2014 I started working on a series of large-scale works on paper called Scrolls. Each scroll references patterns found in handiwork such as weaving and sewing. These soft forms of textile arts are translated into rectilinear shapes in paint. The rigid forms morph and change as they repeat, referencing the bespoke nature of craft traditions. Together the references to craft and geometric abstraction form a bridge between two opposing origins for art production.

Color has been historically associated with femininity, whereas drawing was masculine. For example, during the Renaissance color was described as the unruly sister of drawing. This sentiment was echoed by the nineteenth century French art critic and theorist, Charles LeBlanc, who categorically placed color under drawing, feminine below masculine. Parallel divisions of gender have also been applied to painting and sculpture, as well as craft and fine art.

The idiom “paper over” means to patch or gloss over something, especially as a means to present a semblance of unity. This installation uses fragments from my series of Scrolls, which have been cut up and folded into triangular pyramids of various sizes. In this context, the paintings are reborn as an installation. The materials are reused, but the content – the exploration of color as space, the social place of pattern, and the insistence on ornament – is consistent with the original works.