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Georgia Russell

Georgia Russell, 2013
Georgia Russell, 2013
Galerie Karsten Greve Köln

Forms of Belief
November 8, 2013 - January 11, 2014
Cutting out is a sort of freedom of expression. For me it’s drawing, but I draw with a scalpel.
Georgia Russell works with surgical precision, the clinical scalpel turned into an artist’s tool. With delicate gestures, she cuts her sculptural paper works from scores, prints, newspapers, or photographs, sometimes even from entire books, transforming old materials into fantastic art objects. Galerie Karsten Greve is devoting a comprehensive solo exhibition to the artist, her first in Germany
Taking the collage as her point of departure, around the turn of the millennium Georgia Russell started to cut books apart. The idea for this was born during a stay in Paris, where used books, that collected dust on the shelves as if dead and unloved, she decided to breathe new life into them. For Georgia Russell, the “untreated” book is already like a sculptural object that reflects the countless hands that have held it, as well as the innumerable thoughts and ideas linked to it. She finds the thing that she processes – the books, the old prints or photographs – at flea markets or antiques shops. They are things that were once sorted out, put aside, and which refer to a personal anecdote, whose secrets are not revealed, but whose information makes a previous time all of a sudden graspable. Sometimes the artist leaves individual parts untouched, such as the spine or flyleaf, and thus turns her objects into things that bridge the past and the present, and with this transformation she lends then a new life and a new meaning.
The delicate line between loss and preservation of her objects may be thin, just like the “destructive” work of he scalpel seems to damage the material while at the same time appropriating it, and revealing its fragility. For the artist, however, cutting does not mean the destruction of the form, but rather the liberation of a completely new sculptural matter, a hidden autonomy of objects that she wants to make visible with her work. With seemingly quick and impulsive cuts, the works are energetically charged, and initially they dispense with all figuration. In fact, however, the beholder sees the result of an almost meditative mode of working, characterised by a thoughtful rhythm, which produces, in the manner of Jackson Pollock and his iterative technique, a unique web of a tactile surface.
Georgia Russell was born in 1974 in Elgin, Scotland. In 1991, she started taking classes in art and design at Aberdeen College, and then read fine arts at the University of Aberdeen, and graduated in 2000 from the Royal College of Art London with a MA in printmaking. Numerous solo and group shows at internationally renowned institutions are evidence of the recognition the artist receives, among them Slash: Paper under the Knife at the Museum of Art&Design, New York, or The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists transforming the Book at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington. Her work is also to be found in important private as well as public collections, among them in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Georgia Russell lives and works in Paris.

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