Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Art of Collage

Pablo Picasso
Still Life with Chair-Caning
Musée Picasso, Paris
The aesthetic act of pasting objects and papers to a surface has been practiced for centuries.  Japanese artists in the twelfth-century made text collages decorated with paper foils and later in the fifteenth-century, African tribal emblems emerged as well as Persian and Turkish cut-out paper designs.  Collage as a fine art medium emerged with  cubist artists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in France in 1912.  These cubist artists broke up space and shapes and often used torn, cut and pasted papers as integral components of their designs.  While Picasso's Still Life with Chair-Caning is still considered the first modern collage, it is actually an assemblage of oil paint, oil cloth, pasted paper, and rope making it a low relief three-dimensional construction.  In contrast, some dadaist artists in the early 1900s dropped scraps of coloured papers as they stood on ladders and pasted the pieces where they landed.  These artist made little attempt at making a design.  

Most artists working with collage learn to organize various materials and media to create a well-designed, visually interesting, two-dimensional image.  Collage is regarded as a fine art form and can be found in art collections and exhibits all around the world.

Brommer, Gerald.  Collage Techniques.  A Guide for Artists and Illustrators. 
     (New York:  Watson-Guptill Publications), 1994

All ages can gather, cut, and paste to create interesting and appealing collage images.
For children who wish to further explore collage, assemblage, and photomontage.
Also, visit the Nation Gallery's Interactive site to also explore collage online 

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