About the exhibition

Paper Light features more than a decade of Claudia Smigrod’s works, produced largely through the photogram process. Bringing together several serial projects in which the artist has long been immersed, the work on view exhibits Smigrod’s fearless experimentation and focus on achieving abstract pattern, texture, and above all, the impression that the objects depicted glow incandescently from within the paper itself, manifesting “paper light.”

Made without a camera, photograms are created by placing objects directly onto the surface of light-sensitive photographic paper, which is then exposed to light. Aside from the botanical objects in her Under Study series, most of the imagery for Smigrod’s photograms is drawn from the manmade detritus of contemporary life. Children’s clothing, vessels and vases, books and printed materials, even tortillas are transformed through her unique process. This exhibition also features new work produced with a pinhole camera that the artist fashioned from a coffee can.

Claudia Smigrod is Professor Emerita, Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, DC, where she taught from 1982 to 2016. Currently, she is the Edwin P. Conquest ’14 Chair at Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia. Additionally, she has been a Visiting Professor with the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, (1999-2019). Smigrod’s photographs are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Chrysler Museum, among others.