Barbara Schwartz (1949-2006) invented an innovative method for constructing handmade paper images, using multiple layers of stenciled linen pulp on a cotton base sheet. The process begins by cutting shapes out of ArtCor, a plastic stenciling material and laying them individually onto the papermaking mould. To get a very clean edge, Barbara poured pigmented linen pulp inside the dammed areas of the stencil, couching each part of the design onto a cotton base sheet. The different stencil shapes are pressed into a single plane fusing color into the paper substrate, not unlike the pigmentation in plaster for frescoes. This process, now coined “Prescotype” makes the distinction between an image on paper and an image of paper. Schwartz’s emblematic, abstract compositions are truly an image of paper and relate to the organic configurations of her bas reliefs.
Born in Philadelphia, Barbara Schwartz received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University before moving to New York City to work and teach at the School of Visual Arts.
Workspace Program artist-in-residence 1990