Students in Painting and Drawing Professor Al Denyer’s Drawing 2/3 class in fall 2019 saw the completion of their collaborative exhibition project with students in the UK. Delayed due to Covid, the exhibition is now on view on the first floor of the Art & Art History Building.
“A4 is a familiar paper size in the UK at 210mm x 297mm (8.3in x 11.7in). In the US the standard letter paper is 8.5in x 11in (215.9mm x 279.4mm). Like many points of comparison between the UK and the US it is similar, but different. In our respective countries we perceive of this size and shape as standard. Definitions such as ‘large’ or ‘small’ are relative, but when discussing paper are often assumed to be in relation to an A4/Letter standard. Similarly, a square or circular piece of paper, or one that is excessively long in relation to its width, is seen as ‘unusual’. Yet seen together, A4 and Letter paper show their idiosyncrasies, revealing that ‘standard’ is an arbitrary construct.
You are invited to produce a piece of work using a ‘standard’ piece of paper (A4 if you live in the UK and Letter if you live in the US). Your work might be a drawing, painting, print or collage, or might be three dimensional or time-based (e.g. a film or sound work). Your work might seek to challenge or highlight the impact, or ‘invisibility’, of a standard size, shape and medium. It might simply acknowledge the dimensions through the composition of the work. You might like to explore the nature of difference and relations between nations (particularly pertinent right now in both the US and UK), but application of any theme would be appropriate. You might see this as a challenge for expanding or exploring your current practice.
Exhibited together, works from the US and UK will help to draw attention to the arbitrariness of the ‘standard’. It will also imply how different perceptions from different parts of the world are constructed in part from the familiar things around us.”
-Mark Fearbunce, University Centre Somerset, England
UK Artists: Lindsay Wright, Sara Driscole, Georgia Tippett, Sophie Gilroy, Liz Hutton, Vera Marques, Oli Kirkham, Mark Fearbunce
US Artists: Heydar Rasoulpour, Emery Mortensen, Issak Wilhelm, Ed Archer, Holly Parson Nielsen, Al Denyer, Elizabeth Hardy, Tammy Vu, Ashia Chen