Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Portfolio - Nava Lubelski

The most recently exhibited paper work created by Nava Lubelski is Portfolio, a rolled coil arrangement that appears to be an organic organism casting out tenuous roots. It was included in a solo show, Roomful, at LMAK projects in New York last autumn.

Portfolio, 5" x 25" x 16", cut and shredded portfolio of drawings, glue, 2011

The cut and rolled papers used to create Portfolio were actual art school drawings created long ago by a family friend, an elderly woman who gave them to Nava. It's an interesting concept... literally making art from art, so I wrote to Nava and asked her to share her thoughts on the piece.

She replied that the woman hadn't pursued an art career and Nava felt this had caused some regret... "She offered them with the suggestion that I might find it interesting to see how they used to teach drawing back in the 40s, but my understanding was that she desperately wanted someone to want them. She never asked me what I did after I accepted them."

"I'm always interested in paper that has this kind of poignancy to it, as well as the disconnect between paper that has been hoarded (in this case for over 60 years) and has simultaneously become a burden. "

Portfolio - detail
Portfolio - detail

"There's another aspect to this piece in that it constitutes a kind of "betrayal", as my art practice requires a destructive component. I am well aware that seeing the drawings destroyed was not the intention when they were bequeathed to me. There are a lot of questions raised, I think, about value, about intention, about waste, morality, re-birth, ego, etc... probably many more than those I can think of."

Nava's work can currently be seen in Sydney, and in Boone and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Visit her website for more information.
Additional rolled paper works created by Nava have been featured here and here.


  1. Not only is this work stunning, it's also very poignant. It makes me think that people could use things such as old love letters from someone who HURT them to make a journal or something - you know, a LOVE LOST/ART FOUND sort of thing. Anyway, I love this, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. I never miss a day checking it. Thank you for amazing inspiration!

  2. This is absolutely amazing. You can use paper in so many way and it still be beautiful :)

  3. Since the height of the paper rolls are of different heights. I believe we can see interesting bits of art on the paper used.Amazing work!!

  4. An interesting concept! I am looking forward to seeing some of Nava's work up close at our Powerhouse Museum's 'Love Lace' exhibition before it closes.

  5. Ann,
    Having a hard time with the thought of cutting up someone's artwork.
    This reminds me of a neighbor I had met, who was a wonderful artist, in fact I have a pastel she did of a Native American, that I had framed and proudly display. Her grandchildren, had been using her artwork to start fires.

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    Teddie, I understand. Everyone approaches art differently, but burning it is as drastic as one can get.

  7. Wow this is absolutely beautiful!! I love the stuff you find. Its so inspiring


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