An exhibition of collage-based works using found materials

On View July 14 – October 30 | Potter Gallery

A survey of the past ten years of artist Paul Bright's work, Matter of Style explores collage as an approach to art-making with works created from found materials in a variety of media, including paper, books, video, sound, and performance.

An opening reception will be held Thursday, July 14 from 5–8pm in SECCA's Potter Gallery. The reception is free and open to the public, with an artist-led gallery tour at 6pm.

We've all heard the phrase, "oh, it's just a matter of style." But what does "style" mean when an artist's work consists of found and manipulated material from different sources, and when the work is not restricted to a single medium or "look"?

In his work, Paul Bright uses collage as an approach, not just as an art-making technique. It emerges from his "dialogue" with and concentration on found materials; found paper, found objects, found situations, found text, found images, and found sounds. Bright's work does not offer us an encompassing "style" in the usual sense. Instead of an obvious visual consistency, all of it shares a common basis in found "matter." The exhibition includes paper collages, video, an e-book, sound collages, an artist book, and a collage fashion performance. For Matter of Style, Paul Bright also asked a number of people familiar with his work to respond to it in whatever way they chose. Their responses are available HERE

Matter as question, matter as substance, substance as style.

de/collages (collages from found, torn and taken material)
minor interventions (direct and sometimes topical collages)
[im]provvisorio (image-pairs of found objects as a book)
respiro (a video of the rhythmic movement of air)
wall (an e-book chronicling an urban surface)
bassa moda (a de/collage fashion event)
sound collages (just like it...sounds)

Paul Bright was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC. Following a university concentration in printmaking, Bright adopted collage as an approach, and continues to employ it across mediums. His professional history includes exhibitions, projects, residencies and collections in the US, Germany, England, Canada, Scotland, Italy, and Switzerland. Bright has also maintained an active parallel life as an arts professional in art museums, history museums and art galleries, as a graphic designer, exhibition designer, and curator. He is currently the Director of Art Galleries and Collections at Wake Forest University. He recently curated the exhibition substrata: the spirit if collage in 76 years of art for the Reynolda House Museum of Art, which is on view through July 31, 2022.


Collage Workshop & Artist Talk
Thursday, September 8, 6pm
Location: Potter Gallery at SECCA
Collaborate with artist Paul Bright on the creation of wearable collages that will be featured in Bassa Moda.2, a live de/collage fashion event at Winston-Salem Fashion Week.

Gallery Talk: Artist Paul Bright & David Houston
Thursday, September 15, 6pm
Location: Potter Gallery at SECCA
Join us for a discussion with artist Paul Bright and David Houston, director of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, and previously director of the Bo Bartlett Center, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the first Chief Curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Bassa Moda.2: A Live De/Collage Fashion Event
Friday, September 23, 6pm
Location: Bailey Park, downtown Winston-Salem
Join us at Bailey Park for a special performance of Paul Bright's Bassa Moda.2, a live de/collage fashion event at Winston-Salem Fashion Week.


For Matter of Style, Paul Bright asked a number of people familiar with his work from the last ten years to respond to it in whatever way they chose. Their responses are collected here, and range from essays, to poems, to reflections – even other artworks created in dialogue with his. Their authors are also diverse; artists, scholars, poets, museum professionals, musicians, as well as others responding to the work from their own non-specialist interest. Many of the respondents have hyphenated professional identities that reflect their range of activity and thought.

For me, it has been hugely gratifying to have these contributors generously add what I feel is an illuminating dimension to Matter of Style.

– Paul Bright

The respondents are listed below.
Their contributions are followed by an essay by artist Paul Bright. 

David Houston 
Director, Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art

Ulrike Wiethaus

Jon Sappey

Katie Wolf

Vesna Pavlovic
Artist / Professor

Laura Mullen
Poet / William R. Kenan Jr. Chair in the Humanities, Wake Forest University

Cami Burruss
Artist / MD Resident

Gianni Cestari
Artist / Facilitator

Jay Buchanan
Poet / Performer / Scholar

Eric Juth
Artist / Educator

Thomas Frank
Professor Emeritus, Wake Forest University; Co-Editor, Journal of Black Mountain College Studies

Amy Catanzano
Poet / Professor

Adelaide Menzies
Floral Designer

Louis Goldstein
Pianist / Professor Emeritus, Wake Forest University

Marcus Keely
Design Thinker

Claudia Gross
Artist / Art Historian

Cora Fisher
Curator of Visual Art Programming, Brooklyn Public Library / former SECCA Curator of Contemporary Art

Laurent Estoppey
Musician-Composer (responding with a live musical performance)

Matter of Style
An Essay by Artist Paul Bright