Sunday, May 1, 2011

A New Heyday

Anonymous Woman No. 22


Posts about the show Cutters Edges at the new Gestalten Space say it signals and celebrates “a new heyday of contemporary collage.” And Ana Ibarra asked me in Elephant: Do you consider yourself as being part of a movement? I said it was always around. It’s just getting a better reception right now.

Just in NYC alone – Thornton Dial at Andrew Edlin and a fabulous Romare Bearden show at Michael Rosenfeld. Then ACA Galleries will host a Fragments of Modern and Contemporary Collage show this month. In Los Angeles Jack Rutberg Fine Arts brought us Some Assembly Required, a review of assemblage and Collage. And In San Francisco, Martin Muller at Modernism is hanging Jacques Villegle.

I’m trying to think of why collage is in this upswing. Some artists say the practice lets them reinterpret the chaos and bombardment of the current image and information overload. Sampling in everything else (like music) is a factor. But I think the computer and Photoshop play the biggest part. To reassemble is easier than ever. Everyone does it, supposedly.

Yet that would not really be me; the more I cut and paste in the old fashioned way, the more the distinction is important. Some may think it’s a “purity” discussion which need not happen, but while anyone may google, scan, inject color, whatever, I do not. It’s a marriage of what I find, not what I make up. Not even the colors are enhanced. Sometimes it’s the color itself which makes the marriage, as was the case in Anonymous Woman No. 22 above. Many things might go with her, but the juicy purple and orange nailed it.

1970- glossy glamour ads aimed at a freshman girl in high school, who’s big option in entertainment was a trip to the coast. Yes, Interview saved me, but so did Glamour in the land of hoodies and boots.

She was cut and cut as I measured my options. In another time, I might have left her in a pile because she was so cut up. But with this project I think the tracks of the process can be revealed. I’m at an age too when a woman’s face is getting sliced and diced as a matter of course - the past erased but whoa, what a future.

1 comment:

Andrea Schwartz-Feit said...

I've been thinking about collage as well, as I have begun to include collage elements in my painting again. I think its reemergence may have something to do with the bombardment of images, and the ease with which one can employ all the new software as you suggest. But I think it is more/different than that as well. I am thinking that there's a way it mirrors our own mental functioning, the way perception works and perhaps even the kind of subconscious synchronistic process that runs between art and science. I expect to hear about some new scientific discovery that perfectly explains exactly what artists are currently making.