laurence barker, laurence, barker, paper, artist, gallery, art, printmaker, sarasota, florida, barcelona, spain


Interview with Laurence Barker 
by John Gerard (Hand Papermaking, Summer Issue 1988)

Laurence Barker, born in 1930, established the first college-level papermaking workshop in the United States as part of the Printmaking Department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Michigan. During the brief period of the workshop's existence (1963 - 1970), Barker inspired numerous students - a list of whom reads like a "Who's Who in American Papermaking" - to explore new visions and forms of expression with paper.
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A Journey from Westbury to Chillicothe
by Laurence Barker (Hand Papermaking, Summer Issue 1997) versión en espańol...

I came up with the title of this article on the spur of the moment some months ago. It seemed like a suitable way to link Douglass Howell, with whom I studied in Westbury, Long Island, to Dard Hunter, whom I later briefly met in Chillicothe, Ohio—the two great ur-figures of twentieth century hand papermaking in America. These two men, who shared the same initials, pre-figured almost every paper activity we engage in today, from hand production to books and art. - read more...


Paper Trails, Douglass Howell, and how paper won its way into western art
by Andrea Swanson Honoré  (Rutger's University art exhibit catalogue Paper Trail - Douglass Howell and Four Pioneers in American Handmade Paper: Laurence Barker, Walter Hamady, Clinton Hill, Golda Lewis, 2000)

In the words of Laurence Barker, "papermaking is a two thousand year old craft on the one hand and a relatively recent activity in the world of art on the other." While both ends of this statement are of interest - paper’s history and importance as a craft and its multifaceted role in recent art activity – what is of greatest interest to this discussion is the larger transition of papermaking from "craft" to "art" that is implicit in Barker’s comment. - read more...
 

I Dreamt I Schlepped Paper in my Summer Pajamas and Other Confessions
by Laurence Barker (Dieú Donné Pulp, January through March 2001)

In the mid-to-late sixties there appeared on the scene with little fanfare a hand paper mill called Waterleaf Mill. The world took little notice of the event because there were only fifty people to whom Waterleaf Mill announced itself. If this sounds passing strange, think sham. There were sample sheets of handmade paper, that much was real. I made them myself at Cranbrook Academy of Art. But Waterleaf Mill as a legal entity was a fiction.
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Aesthetic Observations
by Laurence Barker (from Hand Papermaking's 2005 Portfolio "The Art of Pulp Painting")

It is a four-word statement that deserves to be carved in the lintel over the doorway to Modern Art and I don’t understand why it didn’t stop dead in its tracks the often arid debate over figurative vs. abstract art of the past century. “I paint my think,” said Paul Klee at age six(!). (“From the mouths of babes...”) - read more...

Technical Considerations
by Laurence Barker (from Hand Papermaking's 2005 Portfolio "The Art of Pulp Painting")

To number or not to number the edition? Or, more fundamentally, do the 152 paper pieces each artist has made for this portfolio constitute an edition in the first place? The instructions and accompanying guidelines provided by Hand Papermaking keep the issue wide open. The underlying premise seems to be that the work will be signed and numbered as the artist deems convenient. A matter of individual judgment then, and just as well, because ahead lies murkiness. - read more...

Biographical Summary
by Laurence Barker (from Hand Papermaking's 2005 Portfolio "The Art of Pulp Painting")

I was Head of the Printmaking Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1960 to 1970. Since then I have lived and worked mostly in Barcelona while occasionally lecturing in the United States, Europe, and South America. For the better part of twenty years I have participated in the summer workshops held at the Paper Mill/Museum in Capellades, just outside of Barcelona. I noticed for the first time that this summer’s brochure describes me as a “collaborator” of the museum. Certainly I have always taken great pleasure in my activity there so this recognition, although purely honorific, constitutes the closest institutional affiliation I’ve had since moving abroad. - read more...

Article - El Retorno
Winter 2010

"As we progressed through the studios on the tour, I came upon a student—be still, my foolish heart—making a piece of pulp art not ten feet from where we made paper in the sixties. It was a confounding moment; it was also, however convoluted, a Planet- of-the-Apes moment. Unlike Charlton Heston, who had to wait until the last reel to discover where his spaceship had landed, I always knew what “planet” I was on—one, alas, long since barren of papermaking—and yet, contrary to all expectations, here was a bloom! Call it ad hoc papermaking: a bucket of water, cotton lint- ers, and a hydropulper. Here today, gone tomorrow." - read more...





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laurence barker, laurence, barker, paper, artist, gallery, art, printmaker, sarasota, florida, barcelona, spain