Friday, November 2, 2012

Irving Harper: Works in Paper

Irving Harper is an industrial designer who designed homewares in 50s and 60s and then started to make incredibly intricate paper sculptures. He lives in New York and his apartment has all his creations at display. "Crammed onto tabletops, windowsills and shelves and hung on the walls are the sprightly paper sculptures Harper fashioned over the past six decades as a way to occupy himself when his working day was done."

His sculptures were never available for purchase because he "did not need the money, but mostly because [he] admired them and liked to have them around.” Irving doesn't make new sculptures anymore and all his personal creations are being complied by Michael Maharamin in a book-monograph titled Irving Harper: Works in Paper which will be released in February 2013.

His sculptures are "Cut from cardboard, folded in vellum, built of matchsticks and secured with Elmer’s glue, the sculptures are modest marvels, both modern (or, anyway, Modernist) in spirit and anachronistic in their creator’s reliance on simple tools, a fecund imagination and a steady hand."

He did an interview with The New York Times in 2010 and the following paragraph explains a bit about this genius who still likes doing things the old school.

When an admirer gave Harper an Apple computer in return for a gift of some vintage graphics, the designer hauled it to his upstairs studio, where it remains unused in a closet. “With a computer there are too many choices, and I always liked working within limits,” he said. “You know, if you look at Mozart, who had this strict classical framework — an allegro, an andante, a scherzo and a finale — you see that within that formula, he got results he might never have gotten if he had all the options in the world.”


Unknown said...

Wow. These are just gorgeous. I like that he works in an old school way with simple materials. Paper play rocks! I'm a believer especially after seeing these amazing works. Can't wait for his monograph!