23 January 2014

A History of Graph Paper by John Houck

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We first fell for John Houck’s work when we saw his second solo show at On Stellar Rays in New York called “A History of Graph Paper.” Since then, we’ve become mildly obsessed with Houck’s photographs. The prints below from his series called “Aggregates” from afar look like they might be paintings. Go a little closer and you notice that each piece is made of intricate, multicolored grids that Houck created using computer code. For each work, he printed out one of these digital compositions, manually creased the sheet of paper and photographed it, repeating this process multiple times to disturb the programmed perfection of the original grid. We love the sculptural, 3-D quality of Houck’s pieces. John-Houck_Aggregates-11This image shows how amazingly large scale the “Aggregates” pieces are. John-Houck_Aggregates-34
John-Houck_Aggregates-12Below, a detail of what the work above looks like close up. John-Houck_Aggregates-13For his show “A History of Graph Paper,” Houck exhibited eight, medium-scale color images of artifacts from his youth. To make the works, he photographed various items in still-life vignettes on different colored sheets of paper. He then rephotographed the items on top of their own images, adding or subtracting other objects in the process. The finished product appears digitally altered but in reality have not been played with at all in postproduction. The multi-layered effect of these colorful pieces is a delight to look at. John-Houck-AHistoryOfGraphPaper-10
A favorite photograph of ours. Clean and simple, very painterly.John-Houck-AHistoryOfGraphPaper-09We love the way these red boxes pop off the image. John-Houck-AHistoryOfGraphPaper-11
To see more of Houck’s work, click here.

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