Hannah Höch, Strauss, 1929-1965
The term collage comes from the French word coller, which means to glue. And yes, collage artists do glue together scraps of papers, text and objects into a cohesive whole. But they do more than just physically glue items together, they also glue them together conceptually.
Joseph Cornell, Untitled (the Hotel Eden), 1945
Collage is inherently a poetic process. Taken out of context, new connections are formed between disparate items. Time and place are collapsed so that things that could never actually exist in the same place at the same time do.
Robert Rauschenberg, Tokyo, 1964
Painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors have used the technique of collage to bring the real world into their work. Although examples of collage can be found before the 20th century, it is identified as a modernist technique. It mimics the displacement and media saturated environment we live in.
Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, 1972
Some people use the term collage to refer to two-dimensional works of art, and assemblage for sculptural pieces. Personally, I don’t see the need for separate words. I call it all collage. In future posts I’ll discuss collage in more depth, and even include a few design exercises for you to try (don’t forget this earlier post with a collage exercise called synergy.) For now, here are a few more examples of collage.
Romare Bearden, The Dove, 1964
Ray Johnson, correspondence art
Felipe Jesus Consalvos, The Circus Ballet Master, 1920-50
Jess (Collins), O!, 2-sided correspondence
Here’s a link to a site dedicated to the art of collage…