Tax File: Paper Statement Art by Nava Lubelski

With Tax Day looming straight ahead of us here in the U.S., there's no time like the present to feature New York City visual artist, Nava Lubelski. Her sculptures bring a fascinating perspective to rolled paper art.

1998 Tax File, 1/4" x 19" x 19", paper and glue, 2007

Nava shredded tax forms, receipts, deposit slips, and pay stubs, rolled the strips, and glued them together mostly in random fashion to create 1998 Tax File. Not only does the piece serve as a historical reminder because of its literal content, but in a broader sense, the flat layers of spiraled coils suggest the biological growth of a tree. Think of a cross section slice of the trunk.


By reusing paper and going so far as to reconstruct its source, Nava examines common feelings of squandering things of value and at the same time, the human experience of reluctantly parting with possessions that no longer have worth.

Rejection Letters , 1" x 20" x 20", cut and shredded rejection letters, glue, 2008

Nava was featured in an interesting television program, Art Seen Asheville - the episode can be seen here [edit: no longer available]. It begins by detailing her work with fabric, but at the 16:30 mark she discusses her rolled paper sculptures.


As one who enjoys working precisely, but admits to being occasionally hampered by this self-enforced neatness, I appreciate Nava's freeing thoughts on creating abstract art. Traditional quilling most likely falls into her category of "hyper perfect" craft... such an appropriate phrase.

Crush, 1" x 38" x 38", cut and shredded love letters, glue, 2008

Crush was recently featured in the Museum of Arts and Design exhibit, Slash: Paper Under the Knife.


See more of Nava's interesting work at her website.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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