“I have been in love with paper my whole life. Accordingly, I have kept and used every trick with paper that I learned from the time I was in pre-school. Paper simply thrills and exhilarates me. I can still feel the excitement of the first grade class, where, in 1944 Miss Miriam Goldbach from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, showed us how to make a flat, paper-strip weaving, and then a square basket, a woven basket, and paper chains. Surely this was some kind of miracle. How could it be? Such marvelous things from a flat piece of paper? It was magic, a magic I have played with intermittently for over fifty years.
I guess for me the specific charms of paper lie in the simplicity and speed by which things take shape; unlike many of the other materials of the visual arts, paper allows me to do something in a day or an evening (though some of the work in this show represents weeks of effort). Easy storage; easy clean-up. I am still awed by transcendental acts by which paper constructions move from two to three dimensions.
I have played with paper throughout my life, crafting cards, invitations, wrappings, envelopes, sculptural objects, and Basic origami.
While this show was originally intended as an exhibition of my cut-outs, in thinking about it, it became increasingly clear to me that it would be fun to expand the concept to something like “my life on paper.” For in truth, my whole life has been on paper, about paper: school, graduate work, climbing the academic ladder, grant proposals, administrative planning, extended consultations, and some publishing. So the show divides into three areas of my involvement with paper: the cut outs, kindergarten joys and constructs, including making paper, and the scale-model for the installation, “The Ascension of the Grantsman Professor,” a piece that summarizes and reiterates my lifelong involvement with paper.”
— Virgil Grillo Artist Statement