Know when to fold ’em

‘Origami Now!’ at the Peabody Essex
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  June 5, 2007
Michael LaFosse, Wilbur

Origami — the art of folding single sheets of paper into figures with no cutting or glue — has been practiced in Japan for at least the past 400 years, and we’ve all seen the usual paper cranes, boats, hats, boxes. But as Susan Orlean’s February 2007 New Yorker profile of contemporary origami artist Robert J. Lang revealed, modern practitioners have figured out that they can apply the analytical tools of 20th-century mathematics to develop complex techniques that allow them to create origami spiders and beetles, creatures whose fat bodies and skinny appendages had previously put them out of the reach of folded paper.

In recent years, origami artists have made artistic and technical breakthroughs. Opening at the Peabody Essex Museum on June 16, “Origami Now!” offers more than 60 works by 23 artists — a veritable “who’s who” of contemporary origami artists including Lang, Eric Joisel, Satoshi Kamiya, Michael LaFosse (who served as exhibition adviser), and Jeannine Mosely. Visitors to the exhibit at the museum’s Art & Nature Center can try their own hand at one of several interactive stations.
Montserrat College of Art Gallery curator Leonie Bradbury and assistant curator Shana Dumont offer insight into a newer art form — the art of curating art — in “New Art Collective: Emerging Curators Select,” which opens at the Montserrat Gallery on June 8. Nine up-and-coming curators (Bradbury and Dumont included) have selected one artist each for inclusion, leaving you to decide who has the best eye. Also opening on June 8, in connection with Montserrat’s First National Encaustic Painting Conference (June 8-10 — see, is “Hot Stuff
,” a juried selection of work in this ancient medium of pigmented wax. It’s at Montserrat’s 301 Gallery.

Summer group shows famously give galleries a chance to present artists who are new to their programs. One promising such event is the Clark Gallery’s “Introducing . . . ,” which has its opening reception on June 9 from 4 to 6 pm. Artists to watch include Bea Modisett and Alyse Rosner. And Boston bids farewell to an adventurous venture when Second Gallery opens its final shows, “Same Old: Tyler Drosdeck” and “Same Old: Brendan Harman,” with new work in many media, including (at least during the opening reception on June 9) outdoor work by Harman and a performance by Nic Xedro.

“Origami Now!” at Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem | June 16–June 8, 2008 | 866.745.1876 | “New Art Collective” and “Hot Stuff” at Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St [NAC] and 301 Cabot Street ([“Hot Stuff”], Beverly | June 8–August 10 [NAC] and June 8-28 [“Hot Stuff”] | 978.921.4242 x 1309 | “Introducing . . . ” at Clark Gallery, 145 Lincoln Road, Lincoln | through July 31 | 781.259.8303 | “Same Old: Tyler Drosdeck” and “Same Old: Brendan Harman” at Second Gallery, 516 East Second St, South Boston | June 9–July 7 | 617.413.9395

On the Web
Peabody Essex Museum:

Montserrat College of Art:
Clark Gallery:
Second Gallery:

Related: The soft shock of the new, Greenheads, Breakthroughs, More more >
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