“Lined and Torn”: A New Perspective on Paper

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"Tropic Arcana" by Eri King on display on Aug. 31, 2023 at Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art in Las Vegas, Nev. The art is inspired by the Las Vegas casino floors. Photo by Kalin Sipes.

Distressed faces accompany one another, sending a potentially powerful feeling to viewers. The faces, formed from graphite and ink, were mounted on paper that was torn to have a jagged edge. 

“Hydra III: Mimesis Nemesis” by Daniel Samaniego hangs in the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The piece was one of many in the new exhibition “Lined and Torn.” The exhibition is made completely of paper works and is open to the public from Aug. 28 to March 16.

The exhibition’s name, “Lined and Torn,” comes from two contrasting ways of using paper that are common practice in art: lining and tearing. Lining is intentionally creating lines on paper while tearing is mutilating this medium.

Samaniego’s piece has a theme of anxiety, but lightheaded drawings hang on the same wall. There is paper that is both lined and torn, books and paper with wax and acrylic. There are also pieces in the collection with strong connections to Las Vegas.

“4 Queens” by Ayanah Moor features four black women as the queens playing cards; there is one of each suit. A communications specialist for the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, Deanne Sole said, “She merged the idea of historic Black Las Vegas with the idea of the Four Queens Casino on Fremont Street.” 

Next to Moor’s work, “Fools Gold #1” and “Fools Gold #2” hang on the wall. These pieces were done by former UNLV student, Lee Cannarozzo. This artwork is another piece with a strong tie to Las Vegas. 

The gold paper that makes up this piece of art is made out of yucca fiber that Cannarozzo retrieved from the desert. Sole shares, “In this case it’s a very physical connection. He went into the environment, got something from the environment near the city, and made something that’s kind of like a gold nugget. There’s a history of mining in Southern Nevada that is represented in his art.”

Cannarozzo incorporated paper into his artwork in an unusual way, and he is not the only artist who did this in the “Lined and Torn” collection. Sole explained, “Yes, we wanted things with paper, but we also wanted things that were as different as possible. We weren’t going into the curation thinking we need things with lines and we need things with tearing, but rather how many ways can paper be used.”

Edda Renouf’s “To Mahan-Iran 2” and “To Mahan-Iran 3” is another unusual example of how paper can be used in art. From a distance, these pieces may seem like they are just two white squares of paper. However, upon further inspection, there is intricate detailing in the center of each square. The paper has been brutalized to form lines, Renouf was tearing and lining at the same time.

UNLV student, Elijah Mcclain, shares that he did not initially realize that everything in the room was made from paper. “I love to draw, so I like this room a lot. I notice the levels of shadows and darkness in some of the works. It’s interesting that everything in this room is paper.”

“Lined and Torn” took about two months to curate and will be open for roughly six months. There is no charge to visit the art exhibition. Sole shares, “Paper is so versatile and I hope this can inspire students to get creative.”

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