A two-person exhibit featuring Montclair artist Karen Nielsen-Fried’s encaustic paintings and cut paper works, and Pam Cooper’s mixed media works and paper houses, is now showing at the newly renovated Hillside Square in Montclair. The opening reception for Wax/Paper/Scissors will take place next Friday, Feb. 15, from 7-9pm.
Nielsen-Fried’s encaustic paintings–also known as hot wax paintings–employ rich color, organic forms, fragments of imagery, and abstracted geometry in layered composition, suggestive of narrative or intricate processes of thought. Her cut paper works are lush and abundant graphic imaginings of nature forms gone somewhat wild.
Cooper’s work addresses the social issues of today, although the work has the look of a bygone era, in some cases using imagery from old sewing patterns.
Both artists have a reverence for paper. Cooper, who lives in Saddle River, makes her abaca paper, specifically sizing it for the project on which she is working. Although the paper looks very fragile, it has an inherent strength which allows her to create structural forms. Nielsen-Fried paints images of pages or scraps of notebook paper, graph paper and books into her compositions. These elements refer to human understanding of the structures and design of the universe.
Cutting paper is a significant overlap in the artists’ work. Nielsen-Fried uses scissors essentially to “draw” the stencils and templates she uses in her paintings, and the forms she uses in her cut paper works. Cooper’s structures, with cut windows, allow the viewer to peep inside, making them the voyeur. In contrast, ‘Cutting Ties’ uses 27 pairs of scissors and price tags, commenting on the difficulty children have with the divorce of their parents.
The exhibit will run through April 23. Gallery hours are 7AM-7PM Monday-Friday, or by appointment.