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The Paper Art and Science of Matthew Shlian

Matthew Shlian, Eric Broug, Stuart Kestenbaum, Lawrence Weschler, Diana Gaston


A complete retrospective of the paper engineer and artist Matthew Shlian, documenting a decade of unrivalled and unexpected creativity

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Paper engineer and artist Matthew Shlian has always recognized the material’s potential for experimentation. Folded, tessellated, compressed, extrapolated, two-dimensional paper becomes three-dimensional sculpture in beautiful and unexpected ways.

‘My process is extremely varied from piece to piece. Often I start without a clear goal in mind, working within a series of limitations. For example on one piece I’ll only use curved folds, or make my lines this length or that angle, etc. Other times I begin with an idea for movement and try to achieve that shape or form somehow.’

Unfolding is Shlian’s first comprehensive monograph. A journey into the new possibilities of folding technology, the intricate complexities of Islamic patterns, and the sheer potential offered by a sheet of white paper, it celebrates a humble material, on the edge of its existence, elevated to timeless form and possibility.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 25.6 x 25.6 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 200

Publication date: 18 February 2021

ISBN: 9780500094280

About the Author

Matthew Shlian is an artist, paper engineer and founder of the Initiative Artist Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His
work extends from drawings to large-scale installations to collaborations with leading researchers and scientists. His work for the National Science Foundation explores paper-folding structures on the macro level translated to the nano-scale. His client list includes Apple, P&G, Facebook, Levi’s, Sesame Street and the Queen of Jordan.

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