Pushing Paper’s Limits at Tracy Kendall

While large companies like the U.S.-based Wolf-Gordon push the limits of industrially produced wallcoverings, it is the small independent artists like Tracy Kendall who are truly reinventing the form and doing so by hand.

Last year’s “In the White Room” featured overlapping rectangles of white paper sewn together with lines of generic cotton thread. This year, Kendall has added jaunty curves to the hand-cut paper and dubbed this new version, “In Marilyn’s Room.”

The really new work that merits a visit to Kendall’s tiny booth amidst the British alleyway in the 1100 row, however, are “Buttons” and “Shopping List.” “Buttons” features row upon row of plastic and horn buttons (over 1,500 per section) anchored to the paper with plastic kimballs.

Likewise, “Shopping List” consists of rows of oversized price-tag-like snippets of paper kimballed to the base paper and labelled in Tahoma font with the names of grocery items: “crisps,” “newspaper,” “self-raising flour,” “washing powder,” “jam.” Clean and quietly humorous, “Shopping List” feels endlessly interesting and manages to make one’s stomach growl to boot.

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