Rooted in the European Dadaism, the collage art became one of the most important techniques of early modernism, allowing artists to engage and use different materials, such as newspapers, magazines, maps, tickets, propaganda posters, photographs, text, or found objects, to create visually stunning and thought-provoking works. Located in New York and London, the gallery Luxembourg & Dayan is hosting a comprehensive exhibition titled The Ends of Collage in both of its venues, exploring the medium and its legacies. Unfolding across three platforms, each offering a different perspective from which to review the rich history of collage and its influence, the exhibition will present works by 20th-century masters Jean Arp, Giacomo Balla, André Breton, Jacqueline Lamba, Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Nusch Éluard, Max Ernst, Mark Flood, Jack Goldstein, Richard Hamilton, Ellsworth Kelly, Lee Krasner, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Linder Sterling, René Magritte, Joan Mirò, Louise Nevelson, Giulio Paolini, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Kurt Schwitters, Cindy Sherman, John Stezaker, Yves Tanguy.
While the exhibition hosted in New York is dedicated to some of the technical essentials of the medium, such as a variety of cuts, masks and windows, image manipulations and the notion of edge, the forthcoming exhibition in London will shift the focus towards some of the major themes that characterizes it, such as the fantasy, the domestic sphere, dismemberment of the social or private body, and the mobility. The exhibition will also introduce a printed publication edited by Yuval Etgar, the curator of the exhibition, as the third platform for exploration. The publication brings together a variety of theoretical motivations at the turn of the 20th century that precipitated the emergence of collage, as well as those that expanded the medium beyond its traditional limits due to the emergence of digital cultures in the late 1970s.
With the title referring both literally and metaphorically to the place where collage fulfills its calling, the exhibition explores the edges of pictures and fragments, where separate worlds mix or break apart. It also explores the historical paradigm of collage as a medium connected with the “age of mechanical reproduction”, as it extends into a time of the new logic of the digital age. As the curator Yuval Etgar, a doctoral candidate in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, explains, it is now more important than ever to “go back and examine the technical invention that lies on the historical seam between pictures and images, between manual craft and the mediated reality of our time.”
The exhibition The Ends of Collage will be on view at Luxembourg and Dayan in London from March 10th until May 13th, 2017. The book The Ends of Collage includes writings by Elza Adamowicz, Louis Aragon, Jean Arp, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Douglas Crimp, Max Ernst, Yuval Etgar, Clement Greenberg, Hannah Höch, Sherrie Levine, Groupe Mu, Craig Owens, Christine Poggi, Richard Prince, Martha Rosler, Ali Smith, John Stezaker, Brandon Taylor and Herta Wescher. The exhibition hosted in the gallery in New York will be on view until April 15th.
Featured image: Left: John Stezaker - Arch I, 1980 (detail). Collage, 10 x 81/8 in. (25.4 x 20.7 cm.). © The artist, 2016. Courtesy The Approach London. Photo: FXP Photography.