Bent into Shape: The Origamic Creations of Mark DeWolf-Ott

July 19, 2019 - October 28, 2019

This exhibition features the most recent and innovative additions to the papery oeuvre of Saginaw-based artist, Mark DeWolf-Ott, who has conducted origami workshops at venues such as the Japanese Cultural Center and the Saginaw Art Museum since 1985. By manipulating the most foundational artistic elements and principles of design, these works cohere through commonalities in color (both primary and complimentary), space, form, repetition, proportion, balance, and emphasis. They are further linked by recurring depictions of flora and fauna or studies in display and presentation.

First created in China around 100 BCE, paper was later introduced to Japan by traveling Buddhist monks where it took on a religious and ceremonial significance when folded. Not long after Europeans first arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century, paper centerpieces – often depicting birds – were observed in Western palatial environments such as Versailles. In the 1960s, origami was widely popularized by the publications of the great senseis Akira Yoshisawa and Isao Honda, and with the turn of the 21st century, examination of the mathematical properties of folded forms has led to a rapid increase in the complexity of origamic models, exemplified in this exhibition by DeWolf-Ott’s rendering of Rae Cooker’s 2018 Strawberry.