Stefan Saffer Brazil 2007 gouache on cut and folded paper 60" x 32" [installation view]
Stefan Saffer Tilt 2007 gouache on cut and folded paper 12" x 13" [installation view]
Stefan Saffer has a solo exhibition at Pavel Zoubok displaying compositions which continue to develop with the beauty and intelligence of the forms we first encountered in his work on paper three years ago.
Each of these newest works began as a sheet of paper which has been painted on both sides. They were then cut, but not into completely separate pieces, and the cut-out shapes have been folded into themselves and sparingly glued so they might remain relatively flat. Although their assembly is not likely to be undone in practice, theoretically (and in the head of a visitor inclined to do so) each composition could be unfolded and returned to its original square or rectangular plane.
But the original plain white paper now flashes a rich color, a subtle third dimension and any number of dramatic internal spaces, none of which were there before. There is also inside each of these pieces much of the history of twentieth-century art. The hand and the eye of this twenty-first-century artist is there as well, but equally important, Saffer insists, is the creative collaboration of the observer.
Three of the pieces in the show have been constructed of "found" museum or gallery exhibition posters, provoking still another dialog, one engaged between his own art and the icons marketed in these vintage images. Interestingly, these are the only works shown framed and behind plexiglas.
Stefan Saffer Matisse 2007 gouache on cut and folded poster 23" x 32" [detail of installation]