In the fold: Cybèle Young puts a new twist on paper artistry
Part Japanese tradition, part contemporary sculpture, Canadian artist Cybèle Young’s paper creations surpass the deftly folded art of origami. Celebrating that Fifth Avenue Forum Gallery presents ’Cybèle Young: some changes were made’, the first New York solo exhibition dedicated to the Toronto-based artist.
Young takes on Japanese paper, which she embellishes with delicate copper and chine-collé etchings and then turns out miniature, multi-layered sculptures.’Cybèle’s new work speaks of transformation’, says Bob Fishko, who heads up the Forum Gallery.
For this exhibition, Young first created minute ordinary objects, such as change purses that are frequently lost by their owners, and then explores their evolvement into the realm of fantasy. For example, her ’How Does It Look for Tomorrow? (Lost-Umbrella)’ a mini fragile umbrella morphs through five stages into abstract forms and a crinkly shaped floating jelly fish with trailing tentacles in a palette of delicate blues, taupe and white. It’s an exacting art and, in some cases, are compromised of four hundred pieces which take more than three months to complete.
’I’ve long wanted to focus everyday objects that can be so easily lost and evolve sculpturally into fantasy,’ says Young from her studio.
Her work has already captivated collectors as varied as the Japanese Empress Michko Shōda, shoe designer Christian Louboutin and financier George Soros. Plus, her idiosyncratic sculptures can be found in the Bank of Montreal and other corporate collections.
Originally trained as a metal sculptor, Young then examined the possibilities of paper as an art form. ’I realised my art school training in completing large steel sculptures gave me a background in taking two dimensional materials and forming three dimensional works,’ says Young. From there she segued into paper sculpture. ’Although appearing fragile, Japanese art paper is exceedingly strong and can even go through heavy lithographic presses to produce vibrant colours,’ she adds.
’At the end of the day, my tools - from embroidery sewing needles to slender scissors and X ACTO knives - all fit into a small box,’ she explains.