Claire Van Vliet: A Celebration of Paper

July 15 - September 26, 2011

Most artists make works on paper; Claire Van Vliet makes works with paper. She exploits its soft, supple, yielding qualities as she builds the surfaces and edges of her pulp paper paintings. The tactility of paper allows us to both see and feel the roiling clouds and snow-covered fields of her beloved views in Jericho, Vermont.

The books produced at Van Vliet’s Janus Press are operatic in scope—a full-voiced blending of artistic disciplines in service of a text. Here she acts as both artist and impresario, gathering a team of collaborators to create hand-bound, limited edition, letterpress books in handcrafted cases or slip jackets.

Van Vliet’s deft touch and mastery of paper underpin all of the work. Few have matched her unparalleled artistic production. Her contributions have been honored by the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Vermont Arts Council.

–Mara Williams, Curator

In 1976, facilitated by a grant from the NEA Assistance to Small Presses program, I went to Twinrocker Handmade Papermill in Brookston, Indiana, to make imagery in paper for an edition of Hayden Carruth’s poem Aura. Up to that time, my landscape work in color had consisted of very small saturated watercolors in Japanese paper and lithographs of clouds painstakingly built up with rubbing ink. Working directly with pigmented pulps was a great release and felt like the imagery had finally found its proper medium.

–Claire Van Vliet

This work has been made possible by the researches and generous collaboration of hand-paper-makers in their studios, starting with Kathryn and Howard Clark at Twinrocker and continuing, since 1984, with Bernie Vinzani and Katie MacGregor in Whiting, Maine.

Claire Van Vliet: A Celebration of Paper is part of ARTCraft, six concurrent exhibits that explore the boundaries between fine art and fine craft.

Click here to view selected images from this exhibit.

Opening Reception