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Collage which is, in essence, the incorporation of any extraneous matter on to the picture surface, was introduced to the art world by Picasso as part of this new freedom.

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Introduction

COLLAGE Before I began my research into COLLAGE I had very little knowledge of its beginnings, who came up with the idea, and what he might have been trying to say. All I knew was that the process involved different materials being arranged and glued to a backing, and that very often the materials had little or no apparent relationship with each other. I dipped into many the index of many art books to try and find a starting point for my research. The indexes took me into chapters dealing with DISTORTION, ABSTRACTION, and CUBISM, and that is where I started my research to try and understand what the artists in question were trying to say with their work. What I found out is that at the beginning of the twentieth century a number of artists claimed that traditional or representational art that portrays images as if frozen in time was too limiting on their work, and they felt that their art should not have such limitations imposed on it. Paul Cezanne, in the work he did towards the end of his life, began to treat traditional subjects, both figure studies and landscapes, as designs of inter-related forms. It was this approach to his chosen subjects, together with a general interest in primitive art, and particularly African art, in the early part of the twentieth century, that inspired PABLO PICASSO and GEORGE BRAQUE to turn their backs on traditional art that had been common place for some 400 years up to then and, with their new approach, they revolutionised painting and sculpture. This new approach to art became known as CUBISM. The artists saw their new approach as freeing them from a single and only way of looking at the object they sought to capture with their work. CUBISM allowed them to freely move around in space in portraying their object which people viewing their work would be able to visually experience more completely, and often in fragmented planes. ...read more.

Middle

That might explain also some of the crazy things he got up to. Along with some colleagues called Baargeld and Arp he produced a series of collages known by the name of FATAGAGAS. These were regarded as "undesirable" by their local artists union, and ultimately were displayed in the back room of a beer-house. These works of art included a fish tank filled with blood red liquid, holding a lock of hair, a wooden hand and an alarm clock, and a collage derived from an engraving of Adam and Eve by Albrecht Durer that was considered by some to be pornographic. Ernst's paintings round about the early 1920s show how fond he was for the uncanny combination of unrelated objects by way of collage, and the manner in which he combined them so as to give off an air of mystery and the bizarre, and occasionally with a sense of humour. At or about that time he put together something called THE MASTER'S BEDROOM IT'S WORTH SPENDING A NIGHT THERE. It is a picture of a fairly bare room, drawn with an odd perspective. He has brought into the picture by collage a number of animals, all of whom are out of scale as to their size. You have in the foreground a whale that is only marginally bigger than a bat that is alongside of it, while to the rear of the room is a sheep that extends from floor almost to the ceiling. To the side of the room there are three items of furniture, also out of scale in size when compared with the animals. The picture therefore challenges all your expectations as to the size of the objects within it. Another picture, OEDIPUS REX, uses the same approach, and is equally disturbing because of it. It features a massive hand holding a walnut, two animal heads, and a tiny air balloon in the distance. ...read more.

Conclusion

To the right of the picture Ernst gives us three items of furniture that appear almost suspended in air. I painted a similarly bleak room and, to demonstrate an artist playing with perspective, I applied by way of collage a tiny collection of playing cards in the foreground of my picture, and a regular-sized similar collection of cards to the rear of the room. In essence, I reversed what one would expect to find if everything appeared correct in size and perspective. I also attempted to copy Ernst's use of furniture to give the picture balance. The other Ernst picture I chose to copy in my own way was the one he entitled TWO CHILDREN ARE THREATENED BY A NIGHTINGALE. My interpretation of the picture is that it shows the children and the bird in another world, while the frame to the picture is the dividing line between that world and the real world. This would serve to explain the bell on the right side of the frame itself, and the gate in the bottom left hand corner. I think Esser has the bell as the means of requesting permission to enter the other world, and the gate is the way into the other world if permitted to enter. My version of the picture similarly has a bell on its frame for requesting permission to enter the other world, and a ladder (in place of the gate) to do so if permitted. I also included by way of collage a wooden structure similar in appearance to Esser's. I attempted too a number of pictures in the style of Rauschenberg. I took from him some of the common elements to his pictures, while at the same time avoiding some of what I regard as his wildest ideas. My pictures follow his patriotism. Where he celebrated the life of President Kennedy and showed a reference to space travel that occurred while he was President, I went back in time to follow his style. ...read more.

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