Lighter than clay or bamboo and less expensive than silk or parchment, paper is one of humanity’s humblest but most profound inventions. From the first century to the present and from ancient Asia to Europe and contemporary Arabia, Stories of Paper examines the rich artistic legacy of this fragile material that not only became indispensable for record keeping and trade but has proved essential to cultural interaction and intellectual exchange for two millennia.
Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi in partnership with Musée du Louvre and France Muséums, Stories of Paper discovers the extensive variety of artistic expressions of paper, with the purpose of encouraging richer knowledge of a familiar, and increasingly versatile material. It features contemporary artworks by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Pouran Jinchi, and Hassan Sharif alongside masterworks by Katsushika Hokusai, Antonio Pisanello and Pablo Picasso.
About 100 artworks and objects from 16 museums, cultural institutions and private collections are on display. These include books, manuscripts, drawings, a reproduction of a house and 13 contemporary artworks and installations made of paper. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time to discover the various ways in which paper was utilised across cultures. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a diverse public programme of wide-ranging cultural activities.
Stories of Paper spans 12 themed sections, all of which highlight the key qualities and varied use of paper across centuries with immersive scenography. The themed sections include Plant Origins, An Affordable, Widely Used and Multipurpose Material, Movement, Colour, Transparency and Translucency, A Versatile Material, a Substitute Material, A Support for Reproducing Works, Fragility and Resistance, A Space, A Possibility of Collecting, A Space of Annotating, of Associating Comments and Images, a Trace and a Malleable Support. The exhibition allows the visitors to understand the tools and mechanisms used to create paper, and also invite them to explore the different textures of paper through the mediation devices.
The exhibition is curated by the Musée du Louvre’s Xavier Salmon, General Curator and Director of the Department of Drawings and Prints, and Victor Hundsbuckler, Curator at the Department of Drawings and Prints, with the support of Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The curators were assisted by Amna Rashed Al Zaabi, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Charlotte Maury, Art Collection Officer, Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre and Cristina Cramerotti, Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet.
The info is extracted from the press release.
The exhibition is on view until the 24th of July.