More collage! At Freedman Art in New York E.A Carmean, Jr has organised an exhibition of ‘painterly’ approaches to the medium (is collage a ‘medium’? – perhaps a technique, or an attitude?). Amongst the artists included are Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Al Leslie, Robert Motherwell, Anne Ryan, Kurt Schwitters, Frank Stella, Jack Youngerman, Susan Roth, Esteban Vicente and Adja Junkers. Many of the names are familiar though Susan Roth was new to me. A quick googling didn’t throw up an enourmous amount. However there are a few images here, and a 2001 article by John Link it which he discusses Roth’s ‘toughness’. I would certainly like to see them in the flesh.
From the exhibition press-release: “Painterly Pasted Pictures focuses on a broad and major change in the collage medium beginning in the later 1940s. Earlier collages, starting with the very first cubist compositions of a century ago, had mostly used paper shapes cut into forms with crisp profiles, perhaps most familiarly defined by the color elements found in Henri Matisse’s decoupages of the late 1940s. To be sure, some key exceptions took place earlier, including the richly textured collages made in the 1920s by Kurt Schwitters, and those made with torn, or even crumpled, paper introduced in the 1930s by Jean Arp.
Beginning in the later 1940s in New York, the Abstract Expressionist’s paintings—and those of other contemporaneous artists—became more loosely constructed with bold brushstrokes in fluid gestures. So too, echoing this stylistic change, their new collages began to employ papers (and sometimes other materials), often in complex, counterpointed layers assembled of papers with torn or ragged edges. Other collages of this time used crisply cut shapes set into contrasting painted gestures, or melded torn papers and gestural abstractions in other media. Finally, a few works set “painterly” elements within contrasting situations.”
The exhibition has been reviewed by Piri Halasz in From the Mayor’s Doorstep and Brendon Dooley in The New Criterion. For those of you in New York it runs until the 18th of May. More information (and installation views) here.