IAPMA Bulletin
International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists
Spring 2006

Pulp, Water, Cellulose, Wood

Wolfgang Heuwinkel, Germany

Wolfgang Heuwinkel´s works are paperworks, but Heuwinkel does not in the first place consider the paper as a medium for drawing or painting. He sees in it the material itself. He uses paper in all its forms and states between pulp and drawing pad. He works with paper, not on it, and not with single sheets, but paper as pulp. Actually, Wolfgang Heuwinkel´s approach to paper is more like that or rather a sculptor than a painter or draftsman, and he seeks a dialogue with the material itself. In addition to the treatment of the surface and the sculptural work, the process of the work is also an important element for Wolfgang Heuwinkel. Several of his works are open to chance piles of paper with fire, water or colour, he lets the elements work, and although he steers the process, he can never be in full control. A special feature of Heuwinkel´s art is that it sometimes continues its own life when the artist has ended his work: roots of a tree penetrate piles of paper, colour wanders through innumerable layers of paper, paper pulp is exposed to weather. Thus the artist sometimes just initiates the artwork, but the process continues without his presence.

Extract from the foreword of the exhibition catalogue from "Pulp" 2003 by Gert Fischer.

Typical for many of Wolfgang Heuwinkel´s works is that they carry traces of the artist´s work on them.
Heuwinkel uses many different approaches, of which some are shown below:

Heuwinkel uses white cellulose, white pulp, and white paper, which sometimes may give associations to snow. In these cellulose sheets the axe cuts, which are made with a right angle to each other, might remind is of breaking ice.

What happens when I direct a flame towards the middle of a cellulose sheet lying on top of other sheets? How do I put out the fire at the right moment? What do I seek? Have I achieved this? Cellulose fibres burn fast and the fire is difficult to control. Who plays with whom?

In old paper factories Wolfgang Heuwinkel has collected machine parts and pressed them into and onto soaked cellulose sheets. They leave a trace of their weight, their form, and of wear and tear in the white material. They connect with the moist pulp through oxidation, and dust and dirt are left on the surface of the cellulose.