One hundred and fifty one

Mike Jagger Paper Quilt

2010 by Mike Cloud
Max Protetch Gallery, NY

Cloud’s ‘quilts’ are immediately captivating. They are seemingly suspended mid-air, surrounding the white walls of the gallery, coloured papers and patterns gently wavering. The term ‘quilt’ is loose considering their material, yet since they are suspended in this way, full of movement and tangibility, the title is apt. They are softer in appearance; bringing them into the gallery space from hanging directly against the wall does much for their material impact. Cloud himself describes the act of constructing these quilts as drawing rather than painting, as this gives a freedom of execution; colour plays off lines and lines play off photography. He calls painting “a relentless, addictive framing”, whereas drawing is like “the reading of a newspaper” – it creates a time lag. While Cloud’s coloured patterns certainly appear to be framing, repetitively if not relentlessly, there is something in his statement as these quilts do read. One’s eye does cross the quilts, reading the material, as coloured lines lead you to photographs, and, once passed, more lines pick you up again. Pattern is not monotonous as the structure is not as rigid as a traditional quilt, its face peppered with sizable photos and words. Figures seem to feature strongly through Cloud’s work, given through Annie Liebovitz’s photographed figures. They appear as visual fascinations, stopping and preoccupying the coloured pattern for a black & white pause; indeed, this is where the ‘time lag’ of reading comes in. There is a definite essence of putting pieces together, though, like any traditional quilt, they become a whole through their construction, yet curiously through the different choices of material.

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