Weekly Update – Amy S. Kauffman at Painted Bride

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This week’s Weekly has my Editor’s Pick review of Amy S. Kauffman‘s exhibit (from scratch) at Painted Bride. Below is the copy with pictures. And be sure to read Amy’s letter to us about the delicate paper objects getting damaged. I saw the show before the damage occured and the photos reflect the show as it was before the artist moved the works around to protect them. Here’s Libby’s post on the show which was also featured in our first Look! video.

Amy S. Kauffman
Amy S. Kauffman’s starburst floor piece made from Starburst candy wrappers individual folded into tiny boats

Amy S. Kauffman’s installations of tiny origami-folded boats always leave me wanting more. Kaufmann’s multiples (flotillas made of Trident gum wrappers; a rug made from Starburst wrappers) whisper about childhood, desire, memory and loss.

Amy S. Kauffman
Braided rug made of Tootsie Roll Pop wrappers.

The East-West hybrids are playful but also poignant. Made from the packaging of throw-away consumer products eaten or chewed mostly by children, the works are infused with yearning for order, beauty, comfort and domestic stability. Now in her first solo exhibit Kauffman delivers a show that’s an eyeful and full of mystery. In addition to two origami installations, there are stacks of white postcards representing each day in the artist’s life. Each card reads: “Ask PJY.”

Amy S. Kauffman
Empty portrait frames on the wall in Amy S. Kauffman’s installation.

A wall installation covered floor to ceiling with tiny oval frames, all empty, evokes a family snapshot gallery—but where’s the family? Will PJ answer? Danielle Lessovitz’s documentary video on the artist runs in the gallery although it wasn’t there when I saw the show. The documentary explicates the artist’s process. Perhaps it explains how Kauffman’s work manages to be both knowable and elusive. Or perhaps the mystery of PJ is best left as a metaphor for the daily self-questioning we all do.

Amy Kauffman
Downstairs, all the works are ghostly and white, while upstairs it’s a riot of color.


Amy S. Kauffman: “From Scratch”
Through March 17. Free. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

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amy s. kauffman, from scratch, painted bride

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