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Lynne Golob Gelfman + Wallpaper Projects

Striking abstract paintings become home decor in this joint venture

by Katie Olsen
on 11 May 2015
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Working with Brooklyn-based Wallpaper Projects, abstract painter Lynne Golob Gelfman has created a collection of wallpapers—available in cotton and silk—derived from her stunning, textured paintings. The endeavor was conceived last year with Wallpaper Project founders Amanda Dandeneau and David Jimenez, and the result is 13 different multidimensional designs that transform the surrounding space. "In 2014, I met Amanda and David at their Design Miami booth," Gelfman tells CH. "We decided to collaborate on a series of papers using fragments derived from my paintings." Gelfman was particularly excited to be working with Wallpaper Projects' easy-to-peel reusable fabric "that gives a very special surface."

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What you see is not what you get. I try for the ambiguity of illusion.

From the muted tones of "cloud/water/sand" design to the bright, tropical greens in "coral," the wallpapers are diverse, but all maintain a sense of texture and motion—creating a dynamic but peaceful mood that permeates a room. Gelfman explains, "I use different marks to create fields of movement. 'Trued Surface'—a book about my paintings —examines nine different marks. For example, in the series 'thru,' the paint is applied on the front and then the canvas is reversed so the back becomes the front. It is difficult to see what is the front and what is the back. Often the supports on the back show through to the front. It is ambiguous. Painting allows for that. In other works, at a distance, the paintings may appear to be thickly painted, but up close the viewer sees that the surfaces are sanded smooth, almost as smooth as a photograph. What you see is not what you get. I try for the ambiguity of illusion."

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Gelfman's fascination with repetition of patterns and motifs also made her artworks perfect for wallpaper. Whether found in nature or in objects from various cultures, Gelfman can find intricacies and beauty in entities that many of us don't notice. "In some paintings I am interested in creating a field that extends beyond perimeter of the support. Repeating a fragment in a paper also suggests going on forever. I love repetition in nature—lichen, bark, water, baskets and old textiles."

When approaching the wallpaper project, Gelfman says she wasn't daunted by the repurposing of her artworks for home decor: "I do not see a demarcation line between wallpaper, wall paper, wall works, paper for the wall and painting. No boundary limits on where one begins or ends. What is different is the consideration of the wall. The paper is one with the wall."

Images courtesy of Lynne Golob Gelfman

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