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Nikki McClure, Source (2010)

Nikki McClure, Source (2010), papercut [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA, Nov 13-Feb 3] Photo: Dan Kvitka

Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, 1996-2012

Bellevue Arts Museum
Bellevue WA – Nov 13, 2012-Feb 3, 2013

Nikki McClure, Extend (2010)

Nikki McClure, Extend (2010), papercut [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA, Nov 13-Feb 3] Photo: Dan Kvitka

Nikki McClure uses a single sheet of black paper and cuts into it with an X-Acto knife to carve out an image. The effect is stunning – crisp black and white compositions resemble the look of woodblock printing, yet are more elegant and refined. The Olympia, Washington artist attended Evergreen State College and created her first papercut art in 1996 for a self-published book, Apple. Since then McClure has written and illustrated four children’s books, including The New York Times bestseller All in a Day (2009).

McClure’s process-oriented technique makes her work as much about craftsmanship as about graphic design. Viewed up close these papercuts reveal an intricate web of connected shapes and delicate, thin lines of paper that speak about fragility. The reproduction value of her images in turn gives these bold works a sense of strength. McClure’s subjects are heartwarming and accessible, drawing from the simple activities of daily life.

Her iconic illustrations have a broad appeal and have appeared on album covers, in Microsoft advertisements, on storm drains in Olympia, WA as well as on T-shirts and snowboards. This 15-year retrospective, originally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, takes a look at McClure’s original pieces as well as her books, calendars and other published materials.

Allyn Cantor

Nikki McClure, Praise (2010)

Nikki McClure, Praise (2010), papercut [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA, Nov 13-Feb 3] Photo: Dan Kvitka


 Fri, Nov 2, 2012