‘Cut Up/Cut Out’ surprises with art on the edge

An eclectic group show at Bellevue Arts Museum showcases cutout ingenuity in media ranging from paper to tires.

“Have scalpel — will paper-cut.”

That could serve as the motto for the variety-packed new group show at Bellevue Arts Museum, except for one crucial detail; It isn’t just paper that’s being cut in these 100-plus works from around the globe. It’s steel. It’s foliage. It’s even, in one case, an automobile tire.

“Cut Up/Cut Out,” a traveling exhibition organized by the Bedford Gallery of Walnut Creek, California, takes cutout ingenuity to extremes. And while not every piece is a knockout, there are plenty that are flat-out astonishing.

EXHIBITION REVIEW

‘Cut Up/Cut Out’

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. free first Fridays, through Oct. 22. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue; $5-$12 (425-519-0770 or bellevuearts.org).

Among these: Lucrezia Bieler’s cut-paper “Barefoot in the Wild Garden,” in which a woman seated at a wrought-iron garden table nonchalantly accepts the presence of a large tiger prowling nearby. “Garden” has the detail of the most fastidious etching, and its play of tree shadows on the subjects depicted — especially the tiger’s stripes — is a tour de force of obsessive technique.

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Bieler’s abstract counterpart is Rogan Brown, whose two pieces, “Small Kernel” (laser-cut paper) and “Magic Circle Variation 6” (hand- and laser-cut paper), are filigree-fine creations: bas-relief sculptures built with tissue-thin layers and wispy tendrils to create 3-D mandalas.

Cal Lane, working in steel, ranges from the fetishistic (“Panties Can” creates lace panties from an oil can) to the political (in “Sweet Spill,” an oil drum plasma-cut into dainty floral patterns leaks its contents onto its plinth).

Wim Delvoye’s “Untitled (Car Tyre)” offers a similarly…

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