Paper Power: The Art of Michael Velliquette
Artist’s Statement and Biography
Michael Velliquette is a mixed media artist working in the expanse between drawing, collage, and sculpture, and is most known for his works with cut paper. These works engage the nature of matter, sensation, perception, reaction, and consciousness.
Velliquette’s work insists on a new spiritual vocabulary—one that combines aspects of early 20th century formalism, and contemporary sensibilities about the handmade, with the visual lexicon he has developed in his works over the past decade. Velliquette’s vocabulary is bright, dense, ornamental, and is punctuated with recurring motifs such as eyes, flowers, feathers, and mandalas. Art, architecture, and design from broad periods and places inform this work. However, there are rarely direct quotes—they maintain a certain ambiguity over how, when, and where they were made. Color also plays a powerful role in Velliquette’s work and acts to convey a sense of optical fullness, or visual generosity in the viewer. The labor-intensive nature of Velliquette’s practice is also foregrounded in much of his work and correlates to a kind of studio-induced mindfulness.
He has recently had solo shows at the David Shelton Gallery, Houston, DCKT Contemporary New York and Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York. His museum exhibitions include Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Art and Design, New York; Art on Paper at the Weatherspoon Art Museum; and Psychedelic at the San Antonio Museum of Art. His work is in the collections of the Art Museum of South Texas; the Museum of Wisconsin Art; the Racine Art Museum; The Progressive Corporation; Western Bridge, Seattle; The John Michael Kohler Art Center; The State of Wisconsin; Boston Children’s Hospital and the San Antonio Museum of Art. He is a Faculty Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department.