Peck School of the Arts

Minimalism & Its Legacy

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Martin Creed image Michelle Grabner image Livia Marin image Jill Sylvia image


Jill Sylvia Image

Jill Sylvia

Artist Statement

In an attempt to understand our need to quantify our transactions or output, our need to order, to record, I employ standard ledger paper--a material used, economically, for this very purpose. Growing up, I knew this paper only as my father's "work paper."

I use a razor blade to individually remove tens of thousands of boxes from this paper, leaving behind the lattice of the grid intended to separate the boxes. I cut one sheet per day for one month, two columns per day for thirty six days, one month's budget in four days, one sheet in one month. I involve myself in this routine of trying to make time (and labor) palpable while communicating its loss.

Using the excised boxes, I reconstruct a grid in order to construct a new sense, a new value.

About the Artist

Jill Sylvia (San Francisco) received her M.F.A. in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005 and a B.A. in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2001. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Nelson Gallery, University of California-Davis; Mission 17, San Francisco; and the Lacoste École des Arts, Provence, France. She has a solo exhibition in May at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco.


Untitled (month)
63" x 72 13/16" x 1"
hand-cut ledger paper

Untitled (vertical ledger)
45 1/2" x 7 11/16" (dimensions variable)
hand-cut ledger paper

Untitled (book 2)
11" x 17" x 2"
hand-cut ledger paper

Untitled (reconstruction 3)
36" x 42"
hand-cut ledger paper and matte board