Bob Cornelis: Carta I

Bob Cornelis: Carta I

Bob Cornelis has always been struck by the sublime beauty of paper. A printer by trade, Cornelis found himself surrounded by the material as an everyday experience. One day, while glancing downward at the scraps of paper at his feet, he realized there were interesting shapes all around him. In his series of black-and-white photographs titled Carta I, Cornelis employs dramatic lighting on elaborate and graceful folds to explore the depth of the material and reveal its sculptural quality. Abstract forms emerge from the paper’s reflection and absorption of light, pushing past the edges of his compositions and implying a limitless pattern of interwoven light and shadow.

While Cornelis believes that taking the picture is a critical part of the creative act, he considers it merely the first choice to be made. His method for presentation provides another opportunity to express his artistic vision. In recent years, Cornelis has focused on the craft of printmaking with nineteenth-century techniques, including platinum/palladium, gum bichromate, and cyanotype, and his prints have been combined with handset letterpress and hand-bound books as original art objects. Here, Cornelis presents twelve archival pigment prints from the first of his four platinum/palladium print series titled Carta—distinct studies that allow us to see paper in its myriad visual possibilities. 

Bob Cornelis left a lengthy career in technology for the art world in 1998, establishing one of the country’s earliest fine art digital printing studios. Largely self-taught, Cornelis has studied with photographers, letterpress artists, and bookmakers, including Keith Carter, Kerik Kouklis, John DeMerritt, Eric Johnson, and Brian Taylor. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country, and he has been published in periodicals including The Hand and Diffusion. In 2013 he published a book, STUDIO: 50 Sonoma County Artists. Cornelis lives and works in Sebastopol, California.


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“…when we consider paper itself, a self-contained world of light, shadow, line, plane, and contour reveals itself. An architecture emerges with its own form, space, and ambience.”

Bob Cornelis 


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Bob Cornelis: Carta I
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Thursday, January 5, 2017 to Friday, April 28, 2017