Collage can be described as both the technique and resulting work of art in which pieces of paper, photographs and fabric are cut up, rearranged and stuck down onto a supporting surface.
The term collage comes from the French word ‘coller’ or to glue, and the method and word were popularized by Cubist artists George Braque and Pablo Picasso when they were radically transforming the painting world with their dive into Cubism.
Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Chair Caning, 1912
Collage became a central part of the Cubist artist’s campaign to explore painting’s illusion of the three-dimensional world, while frankly acknowledging the flatness of the canvas.
This was a break from hundreds of years of Western Painting tradition, which had revered the illusionistic creation of depth that had been so much of painting since the Renaissance.
The idea of devaluing craft and virtuosity and elevating the conceptual is something that is completely revelatory for the rest of 20th century art.
Our favorite Collage artists include:
Americana: Natural Philosophy (What Makes the Weather?), ca. 1959
Learn about this deeply imaginative rare bird of an artist and his ingenious trash to treasure approach to art making
Make your own Cornell inspired work of art!
Mother and Child, 1971
See a treasure trove of Bearden's collages and learn more about his rich artistic practice
RACQUEL IS ALL I NEED, 2015
Watch a short video of Thomas describing her practice and sources of inspiration
Read this fascinating interview Thomas gave with VICE Magazine
Adult Female Sexual Organs, 2015
Discover this Kenyan-born mixed media artist and learn about her evolving artistic practice
Watch an interview with Mutu
(Untitled) Your body is a battleground, 1989