In some ways, paper is the star of this show: the ragged frays of ripped paper; paper rendered tender by a wash of rough watercolor; paper pocked with wounds where staples once pinned its corners; paper with clean, scissor-wrought edges and its corresponding crisp cast shadow; paper that explores the rippling edge of pooled and dried pigment in its grain. Presented at Bridget Donahue, “INNER CHAPTERS,” a title which suggests both psychic interiority and strictly material exploration, features eight of Monique Mouton’s watercolor, oil, soft pastel, and pencil on paper works.
The titular work, Inner Chapters, is split into two major parts, each with their own attendant components. On the larger left side are abstract petaled shapes, evoking lips or oysters. Cut from a larger sheet and placed atop another leaf, Mouton plays with layering and temporality in the work as well: while some strokes are interrupted by the cut, others extend over both layers, suggesting its application post conjoining. The right side component puns off of the left, teasing the viewer with a cut through its middle that turns out to be trompe-l’oeil—an edge made not by a blade, but by a brush.
Monique Mouton, Soft Wait. Watercolor, soft pastel, pen on paper; pearl gray on ash frame 32 1/4 × 28 3/4 × 2 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYC. Photo: Gregory Carideo.