My latest joy in the studio has been making paper with a new handmade sugeta mould. The mould consists of 2 parts – an interior flexible bamboo-splint mat, and an exterior framework which houses it. My main goal is creating consistent sheets – in color, texture and weight. I aim to make a good number of papers to be used for making books. I love their soft pink-colored character. Was it just coincidence that the paper body matched almost perfectly with a ceramic body from a previous bookwork?
As one of the simplest forms of human technology, it could be argued that paper has had the most impact on the proliferation and preservation of knowledge worldwide.
When I work with paper as a medium and/or as a support, some of the questions that provoke my research are:
How do paper and books operate within social, cultural and
symbolic forms of capital?
How do paper and books contribute to the construction of
national identity and civil society?
This history of paper, its many forms, uses and methods of papermaking have varied remarkably across cultures and over time. As an artist of Thai, Swiss and American heritage, I consider Eastern and Western traditions in my papermaking practice. The translation of ancient traditions and the recreation of their values, are essential to their continuity.
In recent weeks, I have been making sheets of paper with a combination of abaca and flax fibers. The abaca plant is part of the banana family, its fiber is harvested from the leaf stems. Abaca is native to Asia, but can grow in humid regions. The flax plant grows in cooler climes and it is the bast, or inner bark, of the plant that is harvested for papermaking.
Both of these fibers have been mechanically macerated, breaking it down into a pulp. The pulp is mixed with water, poured onto a screen, and pulled away as a sheet of paper when dried. The resulting sheets are strong, somewhat translucent, and they make a crisp sound when crinkled.
Thanks to Laos Fois Photography for assistance in documenting the process.
Having a studio space to see art works side by side, problem-solve, explore new techniques, meet with curators, and have conversations with the general public are all important aspects of my art practice. This week I am preparing for “Why We Do What We Do,” an exhibition which explores artistic motivations, curated by Adrienne E. Wheeler. The show is dedicated to the memory of Gladys Barker Grauer, social activist, artist, and beloved local legend.
Location: Box Gallery in Newark, NJ is part of Paul Robeson Galleries, Express Newark. The exhibit is on view from February 20 – June 27, 2020 and is presented in conjunction with Women in Media-Newark Film Festival.
Thanks to Laos Fois Photography for assistance in documenting the process.
WHAT BOOKS DO BETTER
25TH ANNUAL NEW JERSEY BOOK ARTS SYMPOSIUM
@ RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEW BRUNSWICK
On November 8, 2019, the twenty-fifth annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium will feature presentations by: Ioulia Akhmadeeva, a Russian-Mexican visual artist, teacher and researcher; Maureen Cummins, founder of the Inanna Press, a recipient of the 2009 Pollock-Krasner Award, and a book artist who has long been engaged with found printed matter; Patricia Dahlman, a Cincinnati-born artist, recipient of New Jersey Printmaking Fellowship from the Brodsky Center for Innovative Print and Paper, and part of the Dana Women Artists Series; Helen Donis-Keller, Michael E. Moody Professor and Professor of Biology and Art at Olin College of Engineering currently researching the genomic structure and function of viruses of soil bacteria, one of the driving forces behind her artists’ books; Jaz Graf, an artist who works with paper and print, incorporating printmaking techniques, digital imaging and experimental bookbinding methods, as well as manipulating plant fibers, textiles and wire; Suzie Tuchman, a recent graduate of the Montclair State University MFA program, who works in sculpture, printmaking. papermaking and book arts; and Maria Veronica San Martin, a Chilean-born, New York-based artist working in printmaking, artist books, installations, sculpture, and performance art.
The lunchtime artists reading seminar, arranged by printmaker, artist and poet MaryAnn L. Miller (Cures for Hysteria), will include Kim Bridgford, the director of Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference, and editor of Mezzo Cammin, an Online journal of formalist poetry women, and author of ten books of poetry; and Jo Yarrington, who creates site-specific exhibitions, and collaborative projects using varied combinations of materials.
During the continental breakfast, artists Shellie Jacobson and Catherine LeCleire will provide a workshop and a demo. Catherine will demo metal leafing, and Catherine LeCleire will lead a workshop in creating accordion books with integrated pockets out of a single sheet of paper. As always, all attendees are invited to attend. Materials will be provided.
Asha Ganpat will return as Artist-in-Residence; a small exhibition of works by symposium artists will be curated by NJBAS Curator, Amanda J. Thackray; Karen Guancione, NJBAS Artistic Director, will introduce the artists and serve as symposium moderator, Judith K. Brodsky will be the symposium Respondent; Anna Pinto, the NJBAS Scribe, will produce beautiful one-of-a-kind calligraphic nametags for all attendees. As usual, the day will conclude with a book artists’ jam, at which all attendees can share their work.
Onsite registration for What Books Do Better will begin at 8:00 a.m., workshops will run from 8:45-10:00. The program will run until 4:00, with an hour and a half for lunch. It will be held on the fourth floor of the Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, N.J. Free parking is available, if you fill out this form.
To register in advance: NJ Book Arts Symposium
Hope to see you there!!!
A Place to Rest One’s Palms, 2019
Cyanotype on handmade paper from Thai Kozo (mulberry), Mitsumata, Philippine Gampi, Soapnut natural dye, Handmade rope and covers from Thai Kozo
Dimensions variable (can be open or closed as a folded book) when open 88 in. x 42 in. x 1.5 in.
The sewn structure is based on the binding of ancient palm leaf manuscripts. Patterns of my ancestor’s hand woven silk textile depict a traditional lotus motif with architectural stupas. The visual vocabulary of symbols are spacial interpretations, conjugating the actual experience of the land.
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.
“Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter” with the verb “to be”, we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.
If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
(images: handmade washi paper made of thai kozo, 3 and 4 color stone lithograph prints inspired by washi – made by Jaz Graf)
In Signatures, Version II, no text is present, there are no discernible pictures. It is the pure form and gesture of the earthen material to be read, which echo signs of human touch, providing textural information, and having a memory of its own. Each signature has unique punctures along its spine, traces of its disembodiment. The viewers’ interaction with the book is challenged.
Porcelain exteriors, stitched with handmade washi paper made from Thai kozo in the traditional nagashizuki style. I studied this technique under the instruction of Timothy Barrett, a leader in the field.
Seager Gray Gallery presents The Art of the Book, 2018. This signature show for the gallery is in its 13th year and includes 42 works by 22 artists. The exhibition runs from May 2 to June 1, 2018. A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition and the artists include Robert Adams, Rhiannon Alpers, Tor Archer, Doug Beube, Renee Bott, Valérie Buess, Sara Burgess, Macy Chadwick, Brian Dettmer, Casey Gardner, Jaz Graf, Andrew Hayes, Charles Hobson, Rodger Jacobsen, Lisa Kokin, Linda Mueller, Emily Payne, Brian Singer, Dolph Smith, Tamar Stone, Barbara Wildenboer and Audrey Wilson.
More about the works on view and the artists here: http://bit.ly/ArtoftheBook2018_Catalog
Seager Gray Gallery,108 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Northern Indiana may be covered in 2 feet of snow right now, but there are still warm cozy niches to escape to, like this one @the St. Joseph County Library! Check out the 3rd floor and have a look at my copperplate photogravures of Thailand! Most photogravures these days are made from polymer plates, but mine have painstakingly and lovingly been etched into copper plates using 7 baumes of ferric chloride! Long live tradition!
This series traces my passage through areas of Thailand exploring my ancestral roots. At this confluence of land, history and culture, the act of meditation and the practice of local customs were instrumental in the understanding of my own identity. These sites retain the residue of years gone by intermixed with their contemporary expressions, evidenced somewhere between a farmer’s burnt field and a media corner in a monk’s cave. I consider aspects of the landscape as offerings of my past, elaborating on my sense of place in it all.
Offerings, Thailand Series, 2015
Copperplate photogravure with etching and spit bite
Artist Proofs, each 11” x 14”
November 9 – December 14
Reception: Thursday, November 9,
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Thursday, November 30 at 5:30 p.m.
On a Different Page presents the artist’s personal relationship to the book as art form. Whether storytelling, tackling social issues, sculpting or deconstructing, each of the artists in this exhibition utilize the book to create individual works of art. Featuring artists Aileen Bassis, Kate Dodd, Asha Ganpat, Jaz Graf, Carole Kunstadt, Winifred McNeill, Ibou Ndoye, and David Sandlin. Curated by Eileen Ferara.
NJCU Visual Arts Gallery
100 Culver Ave
Jersey City , NJ
The french phrase, “nous sommes simplement de passage” translates into “we are only here for a moment’s time.” This bookwork of grief is a personal confrontation of a silent event, recognizing that the process of healing is communal.
Every book is coded, a system of signs to be decoded by its reader. It is the ghost limb of an author, but more importantly, it becomes an extension of the reader’s body and experience. As a book splays open, the reader is in between a passage, a silent private voice expressed in a public space.
I’m exploring the idea of a book, its anatomical components, variable forms, associations, functions, and adaptable framework for visuals and language. Books live between 2-d surface and 3-d object, serving multiple purposes: utilitarian, decorative, or as psychological entities. A book experience can evoke intimacy and vastness at the same time. One page or one word even, can open up new worlds. I’m interested in reimagining the bookwork to explore the temporal space of a page, and to transform the impermanent moment into enduring reverberation.
Book binding can be so meditative! So far, my favorite binding I’ve practiced is the french loop link with exposed spine.
NEW FACES @ AAHD Gallery, University of Notre Dame
On view Dec 1, 2016 – Jan 16, 2017
Jaz Graf – Trophic Avulsions, 2016, Cyanotype accordion book with thread drawing, paper lithography and laser engraving on wood, Dimensions variable, closed: 6” x 8.5” x 1”
Jaz Graf – Here and After Series, 2016, Paper lithography on muslin with laser cut-outs, pins, 10.5” x 16.25” , 10.5” x 10.5” , 10.75” x 10.5”
Curated by Adrienne Wheeler
Sept 6, 2016 – July 31, 2017
Reception on Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 5-7pm as part of
Free and open to the public.
The exhibition was organized by Paul Robeson Galleries with funding provided by Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s Seed Grant Initiative.
I was awarded a Civil Society Institute Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center to participate as an artist-in-residence. I had my first studio visits here with Byron Kim, Jen Bervin and Miguel Luciano.
Open Studios, book-spread inspired walls, influenced by writers in-residence…
Visual Artists in residency, Vermont Studio Center May 2016 (Barbara White Studios)
The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series, a program of the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities (CWAH) in partnership with Rutgers University Libraries, announces a group exhibition in honor of The Feminist Art Project’s 10th Anniversary entitled TFAP@TEN. Established at Rutgers University in 2006, The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) is an international collaborative initiative advancing the aesthetic and intellectual contributions of women in the visual arts. Boasting a searchable calendar of over 3,000 feminist art exhibitions, conferences, artist talks and lectures, publications and much more, TFAP has become a hub for educational resources and information on feminist art in the U.S. and internationally. TFAP has 55 regional coordinators throughout the world who facilitate networking and regional program development. The TFAP@CAA Day of Panels has become a highlight at the College Art Association (CAA) annual conferences. Visit feministartproject.rutgers.edu to find out more about the calendar, events, regional groups, and educational resources.
TFAP@TEN features the works of 6 artists in the TFAP Regional New Jersey Chapter. Collectively these artists’ works intertwine visceral aspects of the natural world and the human condition, while having a strong focus on formal practice and narratives. Jaz Graf‘s drawings and So Yoon Lym‘s works on paper focus on patterns and textures inspired by animals, organic materials, and the human body. Found and used materials infiltrate the sculptural works of both Adrienne Wheeler and Babs Reingold. Anonda Bell‘s site-specific installations and Nancy Cohen‘s mixed media works encompass space with figurative and organic forms that are both eerie and comforting. To accompany the exhibition, CWAH will publish a comprehensive free online catalog with essay by Midori Yoshimoto, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Visual Arts Gallery at New Jersey City University.
The exhibition will be on view from January 19 – April 8, 2016, in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University. On Thursday, March 3rd at the Douglass Library, there will be an artists’ discussion moderated by Midori Yoshimoto starting at 5pm with a TFAP 10th Anniversary Celebration to follow at 6pm. The exhibition and event are free and open to public. Please RSVP for the event to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about the exhibition, event, and parking can be found at cwah.rutgers.edu.
– – –
Sept 15, 2015 – Oct 16, 2015
The exhibit includes experimental prints,
sculptural paper, artist books
and mixed media drawings.
The Pingry School
131 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 8am – 4pm
Nine solo exhibitions in drawing, painting, and print featuring
Terri Amig: Mercury and the Little Mysteries, Enrico Gomez: Paper Works, Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern: Chamber Pieces, Eileen Ferara: Estuary, Jaz Graf: In Other Words, Carol Radsprecher: We’ve Escaped the Studio!, Eliot Markell: Imaginary Sculptures,
James Prez: Bird(s) on a Wire, and Max Velez: Faces.
@ Drawing Rooms
180 Grand St, Jersey City
On view 2/22 – 3/15/2015
“The tension of the string against the tape led to unpredictable changes in the form of the drawing over the course of it’s lifespan. Initially when I returned home to find a drawing had lost some of it’s structure, drooping or tangled into itself, I felt a disappointment at the loss of the precision of the original alignment. At some point I recognized this feeling of disappointment as something compelling and inherent to this method of playing with point and line.” – Jeff Kulak’s exhibition “String and Tape” will be exhibited at Alberta Printmakers from January 7 – February 21, 2015.
My partner and I were lucky to be at Sam Rit artist residency during the rice harvest. We found piles of rice on the grounds of the local wat, in front of the school, along roadsides…they were all over town. Workers even pitched tents to watch over their rice. It was an interesting phenomenon to observe how the whole community was invested. Each morning, workers came to sift rice in front of the residency.
We noticed that in Sam Rit (and mostly everywhere we traveled in Thailand) life happens in front of the house, at street level. People sit on mats, to relax, to watch TV, to eat, to cook…it all seems to happen outside and right in front. So one afternoon, we decided to situate ourselves right on the street. We watched children walk home from school, families ride by on scooters, rainbow colored rice trucks and local life pass us by. We recorded these sounds and paired them with a time lapse video of the rice harvesters at work.
We enjoyed so many things at Sam Rit. Biking to Phi Mai was especially beautiful. On the way back, we found ourselves a bit lost. Someone soon stopped to give directions, without us even asking. We went though a small village with a very narrow main street and everyone was out on their stoop. It was in these few moments that we saw rural life unfiltered, everything happened in slow motion, peoples faces were illuminated, there was only this moment, this experience.
To wrap up our stay, we exchanged stories over a big family meal at our host’s home. We became a part of Sam Rit’s extended family. We could not have envisioned the profound effect that these experiences had on the way we approach our work and on us personally.
Jaz Graf & Laos Fois, 2014
A couple of my prints will be exhibited as part of Print Week at the Highline Loft Space, NYC. PaperView, a benefit for the Manhattan Graphics Center, takes place on Wed, Nov 5th, 2014 from 6-9pm. Each attendee will go home with a framed print of their choosing. It’s a great event. See you there!
Jaz Graf Open Studio
prints, book arts, and drawings
Saturday and Sunday, Oct 18-19 from 12-5pm
Merseles Studios – 339 Newark Avenue @5th St, in the Monaco Lock Bldg
downtown Jersey City, NJ
#69 on the JCAST Map www.thejcast.com
(with 6 other art studios + resident artists exhibit)
My work will also be included in 2 group shows:
“Book Arts & Literary Wonders”, featuring artists’ books, chapbooks, monographs, zines, books as arts, sculptural pieces with literary elements, and all things celebrating the written word as part of
the 24th Annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour, Sat+Sun 12-6pm.
247 10th Street, downtown JC ( btw Jersey + Erie St, next to Hamilton Inn)
Delenio, 357 7th Street @Brunswick St. – a community exhibition
All venues are a short walk from Grove St. PATH Station
Contact me for more info.
A couple fresh monotypes from the studio. These were super fun to make and their family is growing! On view at Merseles Studios in Jersey City for JC Fridays (Sept 5th) and for the Jersey City Artists Studio Tour, October 17, 18 and 19th, 2014.
This edition is part of an Exchange Portfolio to be exhibited at the Mid-America Print Council Conference – Print City Detroit 2014. It will be exhibited at several university galleries in the U.S. through 2015. More info to come.
I made this print several months ago working with the concept of absence and ghosts. The feather plumes drift and sway with air currents. On View in the Main Gallery at Manhattan Graphics Center, NYC thru August.
My print for the UNDONE Portfolio – A Collection of handmade prints by MGC Members.
On View in May @ the Manhattan Graphics Center, NYC.
Closing potluck reception + artist talks on Saturday, October 26 from 6:30-9pm.
Also on view – Recent Etchings by Douglas Collins
Saturday’s Potluck will be followed by
artist talks by Eva Nikolova + Kirsten Flaherty.
***Not to be missed!!!
One segment of a four piece drawing.
Tar, acrylic, thread, pencil, flocking on paper.
Part of a group show – “RAW DRAWING”
On view until Nov 3rd, 2013 @ The Drawing Rooms in Jersey City.
Eileen Ferara, Elizabeth Onorato, Ibou Ndoye, Steve Singer, Margaret Weber, Sandra Desando, Maggie Ens, Mike Markman, Kim Wiseman, Greg Brickey, Jasmine Graf, Glenn Garver, Orlando Reyes, Winifred McNeill, Phil Pellicane, Nyugen E Smith, Heidi Curko, Anne Trauben, Loura van der Meule, Demetrio Alfonso, Geraldine Gaines, Cheryl Gross, Jill Scipione, Stephanie Daniels, Megan Klim.
On view thru June 8, 2013 – KSC Art Alumni Exhibition curated by Rosemarie Bernardi, featuring works of Randall Merchant, Jaz Graf, Katie Houle, Eileen Longe, and Nicholas Petrow.
My work was featured in a recent article by Summer Dawn Hortillosa in The Jersey City Independent – http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2013/04/29/a-lasting-impression-artist-jaz-graf-deconstructs-materials-to-build-new-ideas/
Like a madd scientist I mixed solutions and noted conclusions from experimentations. These are my first chemigrams – prints made utilizing photo paper and chemicals. So much fun!
Working in the studio late the other night….Cardinals are being born.