Matthew Shlian

b. 1980, Norwalk, Connecticut; lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Paper engineer Matthew Shlian works in the realm between art and science, guided by wonder and rooted in print media, book arts, and commercial design. His sculptural forms are inspired by organic material and iterative patterns, each piece mapped out digitally, and then folded and assembled by hand. His kinetic work as an artist has led to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan, where his paper folding abilities helped researchers to visualize their work on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro folds. His complex paper folds have contributed to investigations such as visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. 

Shlian was the first artist awarded the Frederick Hammersley Artist Residency for 2017-2018. He holds an MFA in Print Media and Paper Engineering from Cranbrook Academy (2006) and a BFA in Printmaking and Sculpture from Alfred University (2002). He has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world and has been involved in projects with Apple, Grafik Magazine, Herman Miller, LEVI’s, Sesame Street, Detroit Institute of Art, and many more.


More Information about Matthew Shlian

Artist Website

Book: UNFOLDING The Paper Art and Science of Matthew Shlian