collage - A picture or design created by adhering such basically flat elements as newspaper, wallpaper, printed text and illustrations, photographs, cloth, string, etc., to a flat surface, when the result becomes three-dimensional, and might also be called a relief sculpture / construction / assemblage. Most of the elements adhered in producing most collages are "found" materials. Introduced by the Cubist artists, this process was widely used by artists who followed, and is a familiar technique in contemporary art.
"Collage" was originally a French word, derived from the word coller, meaning "to paste."
Francis Picabia (born "Francis Martinez de Picabia") (French, 1879-1953), L'Oeil Cacodylate, 1921, oil on canvas, with collaged photographs, postcards and other papers, 148.6 x 117.4 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. See Dada and deltiology.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper, 1913, collage and pen and ink on blue paper, 46.7 x 62.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Cubism, music, and still life.
Pablo Picasso, Guitar, after March 31, 1913, pasted paper, charcoal, ink, and chalk on blue paper, mounted on ragboard, 26 1/8 x 19 1/2 inches (66.4 x 49.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Jean (Hans) Arp (French, born in Germany, 1886-1966), Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, 1916-17, torn-and-pasted papers on gray paper, 19 1/8 x 13 5/8 inches (48.6 x 34.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See aleatory and Dada.
Raoul Hausmann (German, 1886-1971), Tatlin at Home, 1920, collage of pasted papers and gouache. See Dada.
Raoul Hausmann, Untitled, undated, lithograph and photographic collage on paper, 31.8 x 25.4 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Kurt Schwitters (German, 1887-1948; in Norway 1937-40; in England 1940-48), Revolving (Das Kreisen), 1919, relief construction of wood, metal, cord, cardboard, wool, wire, leather, and oil on canvas, 48 3/8 x 35 inches (122.7 x 88.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. (A fine point: Someone at the Museum of Modern Art describes this as a "relief construction," and this may be more appropriate than calling it a collage. Is it more a construction because its components are joined by nails and wire than by adhesives? From this photo of it, Revolving greatly resembles what might just as appropriately be described as a collage. If these terms overlap, how much do they?!)
Kurt Schwitters, Merz Picture 32A (The Cherry Picture), 1921, cloth, wood, metal, fabric, cut-and-pasted papers, cork, gouache, oil, and ink on cardboard, 36 1/8 x 27 3/4 inches (91.8 x 70.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See Dada.
Kurt Schwitters, Magic, c. 1936-40, collage on paper, support: 13.1 x 10.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Kurt Schwitters, Opened by Customs, 1937-8, paper collage, oil and pencil on paper, 33.1 x 25.3 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Kurt Schwitters, Picture with Basket Ring (Bild mit Korbring), 1938, assemblage: wood, rattan ring, paper, iron and steel nails on wood, 15 x 11 3/4 inches (38.1 x 29.8 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. (Another fine point: Someone at the Museum of Modern Art describes this as an "assemblage," and this may be more appropriate than calling it a collage. Is it more an assemblage because its components are joined by nails than by adhesives, or because its support is wood rather than paper? From this photo of it, Picture with Basket Ring resembles what might just as appropriately be described as a collage. If these terms overlap, how much do they?!)
Kurt Schwitters, The Proposal, 1942, collage on paper, 31.9 x 39.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Kurt Schwitters, NB, 1947, collage.
Max Ernst (German, 1891-1976), The Hat Makes the Man, 1920, gouache, pencil, ink, and cut-and-pasted collotypes, 14 x 18 inches (35.6 x 45.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See Dada.
Max Ernst & Hans (aka Jean) Arp (French, 1887-1976), Switzerland, Birth-Place of Dada, 1920, collage on paper.
Joseph Cornell (American, 1903-1972), Celestial Navigation, n.d., shadow box construction with wood, glasses, marbles, plaster head, painted cork ball, metal rods, nails, paper collage, tempera, and painted glass, 9 5/8 x 16 1/4 x 4 inches (24.4. x 41.3 x 10.2 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. See sculpture and Surrealism.
Romare Bearden (American, 1914-1988).
Visit the Romare Bearden Foundation and "Let's Walk the Block," about Romare Bearden's 6-panel 1971 collage, The Block at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
See African American art.
César (born César Baldaccini) (French, 1921-), Untitled, 1971, collage of found enameled pitcher and paint on paper, 70 x 60 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran.
Jess [Collins], (American,1923-), The Mouse's Tale, 1951-1954, gelatin silver prints, magazine reproductions, and gouache on paper, 47 x 32 inches (119.3 x 81.2 cm), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Visual games and puns are the essence of Jess' collages, which he prefers to call "Paste-Ups" because of the term's childlike association.
Miriam Schapiro (Canadian-American, 1923-), Mother Russia, fan, 1994, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 82 x 90 inches, Courtesy of Steinbaum Krauss Gallery. This type of collage is known as femmage. See feminism and feminist art.
Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-), Untitled, 1979, solvent transfer and fabric collage on paper, 31 x 22 inches, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO. See transferal.
David Hockney (English, lives and works in USA, 1937-), Portrait of the Artist's Mother, c. 1985?, photocollage. This is called a photocollage rather than a photomontage, because it is more three-dimensional than a montage tends to be. Hockney reflected extensively on his process of collaging prints taken with a 35 mm camera as connecting to the Cubist sense of multiple angles and especially of movement. These "multiples" (as he called them) convey a strong sense of movement, Hockney argued, in that the viewer must keep readjusting his imagined viewpoint as his gaze travels from print to print. And of course by this means the viewer builds up a single image that is many times wider in angle of view than the camera lens. (The viewing angle of a standard 55mm lens for a 35mm format camera is about 45 degrees. Wide angle lenses increase the angle of view to about 75 degrees without obvious distortion, but the human angle of view, with eye movement, is about 180 degrees.) This portrait of Hockney's mother illustrates the technique at close range.
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (American, Salish/Cree/Shoshone, 1940-), Coyote Paper Dolls, no date, mixed media collage, 27 1/2 x 40 inches, Art Museum of Missoula, MT. See American Indian art and feminism and feminist art.
Anthony (Tony) Berlant (American, 1941-), August 7, 1941, 1964, collaged found-painted-tin and nails mounted on wood, 10 x 8 1/4 inches (25.3 x 20.8 cm), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Tony Berlant, The Old Moon With The New Moon In Her Arms, 1964, collaged found-painted-tin and nails mounted on wood, 8 1/4 x 8 1/8 inches (20.9 x 20.5 cm), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Tony Berlant, Home Run, 2000, collaged found-painted-tin and nails mounted on wood, 13 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches.
Tony Berlant, What You See is Who You Are, 2002, collaged found-painted-tin and nails mounted on wood, 9 1/2 x 55 feet, Lennon, Weinberg Gallery, NY.
Also see appropriation, bricolage, coulage, découpage, encaustic, exquisite corpse, femmage, Fluxus, fumage, marouflage, montage, parsemage, pasteup, photomontage, and pique assiette (also called picassiette).