October 29, 2012 by smithartonline
I finally got my piece, displayed in a post earlier, framed up. I use a system employing grommets along the top edge allowing the paper to drop down pretty freely. I say pretty freely since it does tend to curl forward and press against the glass, so I have to tab it at the bottom, but the general effect is what I am looking for, even if the paper is not always inclined to support my plan: I hate when inanimate objects act up.
This is an example of influence from visits to the old Southwest Indian Museum in Highland Park, CA. (It now seems to be more or less closed to the public, and is under The Autry Museum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles) Years ago I saw a beautiful First Nation work illustrating an historical event. It was rendered on a large piece of muslin or canvas using pigments. The museum displayed it hanging on a wall employing the grommets which ran along the top edge. To me at the time (the early 1970’s) it was just the most elegant way to display this type of celebratory work: I still enjoy this display system.
This particular display system also plays up the beauty of the support material, in this case the paper, as well as allowing the viewer to see markings of the preparation process. At one time I was terribly concerned with making pristine, finely finished works. I used heavy matting to hide the edges and this method completely hid the process and ritual an artist employs during the actual creation of a work. When I was teaching, John Egan, a fellow teacher and an accomplished artist in his own right, convinced me that the evidence of the process should be displayed as part of the viewing experience. So we have First Nation artists and John to blame for my presentation methods here.