Maritta Tapanainen

Maritta Tapanainen’s penchant for carving shapes out of aged books with an X-acto knife might make bibliophiles cringe, but the resulting neutral-toned collages are stirring. With cutouts extracted meticulously from old science and mechanics textbooks, Tapanainen “draws” beautiful organic forms. Beyond traditional collage, her work has been described as intricate paper tapestries, echoing the morphing automatic forms of Max Ernst. She describes her subjects as “organisms suggestive without being specific, specific without being revealing—meshed with snatches of memory and meditations on the micro-macrocosmos.” Embodying dichotomies such as harmony versus disruption and precision versus randomness, Tapanainen’s biomorphic forms are full of movement, appearing variously to swim, swirl, and dance.

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