Matthew Shlian has always recognized papers significance as a medium and message, as a material for experimentation and understanding. In his hands, engineering, science and geometry take physical form in paper. Folded, tessellated, compressed, extrapolated two-dimensional paper becomes three dimensional sculpture in beautiful and unexpected ways.
is the first monograph of Shlians genius, compiling his most important work over the past decade. 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, Unfolding is celebration of a humble material, on the edge of its existence, elevated to timeless form and possibility.
In keeping with the geometric underpinning of Shlians work, the dimensions of the book are 16 cubed: 16cm by 16cm by 16 signatures of 16 pages. Printed in full colour on two paper stocks, the book features an interview between Stuart Kestenbaum and the artist, and essays by Islamic design scholar Eric Broug and acclaimed writer Laurence Weschler. Of Shlians work, Weschler has said that its not so much the folds he adds to paper, its the folds he adds to your brain.
At the heart of Unfolding is a complete overview of Shlians stunning and original oeuvre over the past ten years, including small- and large-scale works, collaborations with scientific researchers and scientists, three-dimension reliefs and sculpture all in paper.
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, Levis, Sesame Street and the Queen of Jordan.