I thought I should introduce myself. Hello, I'm Daniel and I volunteered to to become a blog contributor here at The Collage Clearinghouse. I thought I'd start by listing my three biggest collage heroes of all time. (I would say 'influences' but I feel influenced by all the art I see everyday, and so 'hero' sounds more appropriate.)
Number one for me would have to be San Francisco painter/collage artist, Jess Collins(1923-2004). I am always blown away by Jess' densely packed, rich, inventive collages; you can just get lost in them. His process was also fascinating, working in several different modes he called past-ups, translations, necro-facts, and salvages. Some of his pieces where he layers puzzles in and out are absolutely jaw dropping.
I've seen some great monographs of Jess' work. Here's two on amazon.com:
Jess: To and From the Printed Page
Jess, a Grand Collage, 1951-1993
and here's a couple online articles. hackettfreedman.com sfgate.com
Next for me is Dada artist Hannah Höch (1889-1978). I really love what she did with the human form, and the deceptively simple feel of her pieces. Her work is full of political and social commentary, new forms of beauty and feminism. There's something about her collages that feel free and airy and at the same time important and powerful.
Some books on Hannah Höch on amazon:
Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch
The Photomontages of Hannah Hoch
Next, I would say for me is New York collage/assemblage artist, Joseph Cornell (1903–1972). I love his whimsy and curiosity. He seemed to be enamored by certain subjects and explored them with a fantastic fascination. His work is so playful and beautiful, colorful and nostalgic. To me his work is less about transforming an image or juxtaposing ideas but about concentrating on an idea celebrating it.
Books on Cornell on amazon.com:
Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination
Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams
I know these aren't exactly unknown names in art history but they've definitely shaped my love of the medium of collage so I thought I'd share my appreciation. There's many other artists I could put in this same category, but these three come up so often for me when thinking about art and collage they top the list.
Feel free to leave comments on your thoughts on these three artists or about your own collage heroes.