The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction

Cecil Touchon heads up the The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction. He is an active collage artist, working on exhibits, teaching, and also promoting collage whenever possible. It is hard not to run into his work or his site if you are searching the internet for information about collage. I have worked with Cecil a bit, a long time ago we were working on a Hannah Hoch site. He is a very helpful man, and also very creative. It is nice to work with people that have strong interests, strong creative desires and also that will go the extra mile in the effort department.

Through the museum, Cecil has acquired some very strong Russian Constructivism works. I really liked these. You can feel their industrialness. So masculine!

Cecil is also spearheading collage exchanges. "The bulk of the museum's current collection currently consisting of 700+ collages has been collected since the year 1999 through a series of mail exchanges called the Baker's Dozen designed by Cecil Touchon as a mail art project and coordinated by Dale Copeland. Additional works have been collected through unsolicited donations from various artists. " At this point you can participate in an exchange twice a year. You can find out more about it here.


Jonathan Talbot

You can't do a lot of reading or research about collage with coming across this man's name. I have had the opportunity to speak with him on the phone, and found him to be a very caring and helpful man. He has crossed many peoples' paths in classes, museums and through the world wide web.

He has come up with a fascinating collage technique that many artists employ in their work. His site is informative, and a treasure trove of info. Go there and check it out!

cultronix #5--Collage Machine

Sometimes in this blog, I am simply listing an article link, as in this posts' title, and then I am culling quotes that mean something to me personally. These are tidbits that I want to remember, things that I am recording for myself for later on. If you want to read the entire thing, go right ahead. I can't go and quote everything from everywhere otherwise I am making a repeat web! Hopefully this explains the cut and paste nature of some of these blog entries. Indeed, using a cut and paste technique for a collage blog seems entirely appropriate!

"Detournement [is] the reuse of preexisting artistic elements in a new ensemble ... The two fundamental laws of detournement are the loss of importance of each detourned autonomous element -- which may go so far as to lose its original sense completely -- and at the same time the organization of another meaningful ensemble ... Detournement has a peculiar power which obviously stems from the double meaning, from the enrichment of most of the terms by the coexistence within them of their old senses and their new, immediate sense... All forms of expression are ... reduced to self-parody... We find ourselves confronted with both the urgent necessity and near impossibility of bringing together and carrying out a totally innovative collective action...

-- Guy Debord, Situationist Anthology pp. 55-56

"Collage is a critical paradigm of the information age because it opens the range of possibilities through which we interpret information artifacts. Cut and paste enables semiotic construction that simultaneously leverages and detourns the means of production embodied by particular media elements. The recombination of genetic codes of meaning creates hybrid forms. Through these cross-currents, culture, and even knowledge, evolve."

my thoughts on ray j

Ray Johnson was a street artist. Pre-Graff he was. He was also a collage artist. "he never exhibited in galleries or museums but would only show his work in places like Grand Central Station or the street".
Why does this tickle me so? I really am such a rebel inside. I don't like the establishment and conforming and fitting in and all that. What a lack of individuality and expression. In art, I want to change someone...somehow. I am not certain this is a structured thing, and has to be done in a museum. I understand the place of museums, exhibits, and I intend to do this. But inside there is a serious portion of me that thinks taking it to the streets is another answer. Hence, my appreciation for graffiti, stickers, peeling, and altering a landscape.

""The artist explains every fragment by a tangle of literary references to current events, private lives, and predominantly a running dialogue with the art world... so that each work is meant to be read like a rebus. Unfortunately the key is not to be found without the artist's personal assistance, and is certainly not embodied in the works themselves...." This intrigues me because I often have seeded my work with so many personal jokes and puns and silly alignments, that I sometimes giggle to myself about how no one else would ever understand the meaning behind my works. I wonder about writing these meanings down, not that anyone would ever read about them or get it. Not that I have the time to do it either! It might interest someone, but seriously I am arting or writing. pick one.
"...the idea that art should be a wholly non-commercial and intimate experience among friends. The conventional museum/gallery assumptions about art are laid aside and the communication process itself is the member's primary concern." What a cool idea. How personal for art just to be shared among those present, perhaps it would be more of an emotional and moving thing. But unfortunately I want my stuff to be more permanent. Someone else years from now should be able to enjoy it, no?

Ray Johnson-the Big Collage

This is a cut and paste of a report that you can find here. I wanted to cut and paste it because sometimes I worry about things on the net disappearing. I want to be able to read this again for certain.
"Ray Johnson, like most any other artist, has been the subject of varied and varying critical opinion. Presented here will be an Informal review of my comments on those critical reviews of Ray Johnson and the art of Ray Johnson. It will be a literary college of opinion and commentary from which (I hope) will emerge a coherent view of Johnson and his work.

In the forties and fifties, Ray Johnson was trained as a painter. He knew people who were "in" and some who were bound to become "in." Some time in the fifties, he began composing his collages. Among the better-remembered pieces are his "Elvis Presley No. 1," "Elvis Presley No. 2," and his "Moticos." The two Presley collages, which were done in 1955, mark for some critics a forecasting, a foretelling, of Pop Arts

... Ray Johnson's manipulation of the Presley portrait was something new; it went beyond the use of ideas from photography to merge the very materials of camera work and paint. The photographic image contributed to a sense of actuality--After all, the camera does not lie--and the use of that image was a harbinger of a new realism that was to mark painting. The new wave was born of Pop Art, that deadpan, sarcastic movement that had its prophet in Johnson and its father in Andy Warhol. [1]

These collages, which he called "moticos," also played a part in the evolution of his style. Until the early sixties "he never exhibited in galleries or museums but would only show his work in places llke Grand Central Station or the street [see Fig. 1]. The random arrangment of 'moticos' (a self - invented name for his collages which he stored in cardboard boxes, often cutting them up again later to make new ones) on a dilapidated cellar door In lower Manhattan may even have been the first informal 'Happening'.[2]" These were the beginnings of what Ray Johnson has become noted for: collage in many forms.

The formal collage is the medium for the Ray Johnson who shows with the formal gallery. Although in the early sixties he did perform/conduct a few "nothings," (which amounted to anti-happenings), the majority of his gallery shows were collage. The collages of Ray Johnson are without a doubt provocative material.

"Q. It seems to me that collage as a medium lends itself to the expression of satire and social commentary.... Doesn't it take a lot of 'tasteful' selection to add up to pictorial creation?

Johnson: I would suggest your question be presented to Vera, who might supply an interesting answer. Sorry to pass the buck."[3]

David Burden's article of 1964 publicly set the stage to what had already been happening for Ray Johnson for a long time. The element of humor in the collages, whether projected through satire, pun, visually or verbally in Ray Johnson's most formally damning and most informally constructive element. Structurally, his collages are "very accomplished, finished, framed in wood and glass, no loose ends."[4] and "look like elegant enough examples of the assemblage esthetic."[5] The content is where Ray Johnson takes off, often leaving the unknowing viewer behind. One early reviewer complains, "The artist explains every fragment by a tangle of literary references to current events, private lives, and predominantly a running dialogue with the art world, mostly in the manner of the verbal quibbles of Rose Sélavy; so that each work is meant to be read like a rebus. Unfortunatelyt the key is not to be found without the artist's personal assistance, and is certainly not embodied in the works themselves...."[6] Yet, another critic will proclaim, "Ray Johnson Is a poet-painter. To what extent collage is close to poetry, collage gets like literature in that it must be read, scrutinized; collage is small on/with paper."[7]

The fact is that Johnson's collages have primarily dealt with "biographical references to himself and his artist friends."[8] His collages are verbal and visual "bits of in-formation, puns, associations, and moments of intense attention."[9] The problem is that unless you are Ray Johnson or you are within the bounds of his artistic circles, most of the content is unappreciated. It is apparent that most of the jokes can only be appreciated by a select few. Like the jester in the courts of old, Ray Johnson has taken the kings and queens of the New York high life and made them at once the brunt and the subjects of his humor.

"Johnson disarmingly admits that his art is at best minor but his subject material may not be. Itts a bit like a still-life painter who manages to tell us more about history than a big history painter. Very good minor work makes a lot of serious work look a little strained--which may mean no more than that minor work is informal and most major work is formal and vulnerable. Our best minor artistsg however--and I use this here In the nonpejorative way one refers to good minor poets--are thus our best critics. Johnson exercises humor rather than wit, wryness rather than epigram: he collects New York artists like stamps; that is, with-out irony. In other words, he likes his subject matter, and could no more function outside the New York scene, to which he inescapably belongs than Cezanne could do without apples."[10]

This is, perhaps, a good overall commentary on the collages of Ray Johnson but It is quite nearsighted when applied to his work in the realm of correspondence art. While Johnson's collages assume a highly specialized audience/ referent, his correspondence art does not limit appeal to such a small coterie. In short, it is specialized but not limited. Further, as I've said, Johnson's collage art is the stuff of his gallery/museum exhibits. The correspondence art does away with the need for gallery or museum to display a "completed" art. Rather, the correspondence art is the process of art--and the end result is art.

Ray Johnson is by no means a newcomer to the area of correspondence or mail art. A recent retrospective of his epistolary works includes letters from the forties, postcard collages from the early to mid fifties, and, of course, the volume of work that grew along with the New York Correspondence School (NYCS), during the sixties and seventies. It is through the auspices of the NYCS that Ray Johnson has been able to carry out his wildest dreams as far as one can see. (His imaginative capacity is difficult to measure.)

One of the primary purposes of the NYCS is, as one observer has noted, "the idea that art should be a wholly non-commercial and intimate experience among friends. The conventional museum/gallery assumptions about art are laid aside and the communication process itself is the member's primary concern."[11] This reflects Johnson's earlier pre-sentations of his collage "moticos" in the streets of New York. That is, the NYCS gave Ray Johnson a tool to expand the communication process; more widely, in the form of mailings. These included personal letters to specific individuals [see Fig. 2], xeroxed copies of form letters and bulletins that carried specific messages to certain NYCS members [Fig. 3]; and general bulletins [Fig. 4]. He would often compound the process by creating a revolving exchange. In other words, an item would be sent to person A, who would be asked to add or to delete something and then to send it to person B, who In turn would send it on to D, E, or F, or maybe back to Johnson; so the process would be a continual, renewing cycle. Invariably, Johnson would, after a while, come to know something personal about the member to whom he was communicating. The dominant idea is reference to personal references. Once again, the possibility of the private joke comes up. But this time the joke Is shared with a broad spectrum of individuals who "belong to" the NYCS, who then spread It even further to their respective circles of friends. Basically, It is a very open-ended form of art.

As an example of this process, Marcia Tucker, then Curator at the Whitney Museum, received a deluge of mail art from the members of the NYCS; this resulted in a semi-formal showing (1970) shared with the "public." And once again the critics sat on both sides of the fence. Comments ranged from "It's an image-word ragout that's best enjoyed and not analyzed"[12] to "all of them (the show entries) are missing the mark as far as wit goes because there was some ingrained, indiscriminate nastiness behind them, a barely repressed venom to which true wit or true art are never in service."[13]

Another by-product of the mailings of the NYCS are the meetings. These meetings, which are announced through Ray Johnson's mailing lists and sometimes in local press, may or may not actually take place. While the majority of them were planned and executed in New York, others have been in Kansas City; Oberlin College, Ohio; Chicago; Baltimore; Raleigh, N.C.; and California. The meetings create another channel of communication: direct interaction. They give people a chance to meet and know one another better. Ray Johnson, as in the mail correspondence, is once again the perpetrator and the mediator. He controls the group in only the most minimal way. It has been said that he is more interested in observing the results than in controlling them.

Observing all of this may appear to be off the track of Ray Johnson's correspondence career and even further from the collage motif. But It all relates, In a typical Johnsonian fashion. The mailings, the NYCS, the NYCS meetings and the formal collages are all part of an overall system, an ongoing process of reference and cross reference. The system is communication. Ray Johnson uses communication to form an immense collage of material, idea, and people. The big collage is Ray Johnson's art.

Humor and games are the basic elements of the big collage. Humor is always present, whether in the form of verbal and visual puns or people enjoying activities outlined for the NYCS meetings. This Is all part of a general quality: word games, parlor games, mind games. Ray Johnson is very much the prankster, the trickster, and the jester. These factors--the games, humor, involvement--have contributed to many peoples' pigeonholing Ray Johnson into the Dada ethic. He has been referred to as "the Dada Daddy of mail art art mail ... mainstream from Marcel Duchamp."[l4] Clearly, there is a connection with the Dada movement and a certain fascination with Marcel Duchamp. But to think that Johnson is totally a Dada or neo-Dada is quite incorrect. One must also consider the Surrealists.

Granted, when one considers Individual works by Ray Johnson, each may appear Dada-like. They may make comments about the subject in a negative fashion, apropos of the Dada mind. But, in the overall scheme of things, the value is a positive one. Johnson is building a system. The system is based on unified correspondences among many components. He is not trying to destroy anything although it may appear that way because he works outside of the normal realm of art. Contrary to the Dadast Johnson does not attack "art"; he usually focuses upon the individual artist Instead. His attack is not with malicious intent to do harm but is more a teasing to bring about a mental blush. Blushing causes an increased circulation as the result of stimulation. Increased circulation brings fresh blood to the surface. Johnson may, in fact, be aiding new blood to come to the surface. This is a positive attribute and an idealistic quality, much as the Surrealists were positive idealists. More concretely, Johnson's favourite games are those of the Surrealists.

The best-known of these Surrealist games is "the Exquisite Corpse." This is a simple game in which the first person would draw one part of a body on a piece of paper and then fold it; the second person takes this paper, draws another part of the body, then folds the paper again; each player takes and draws, not being able to see the previous drawing. The result is unfolded and a usually illogical figure is revealed.

Johnson took this process and adapted it to his mail art (as previously mentioned in this paper). He also used verbal adaptations of the game during the NYCS meetings. Through his use of games and his gentle humor, Ray Johnson better fits the mold of the Surrealist than that of the Dada. But Johnson's answer to this categorization is: "I would not be a collagist, I would not be a Surrealist, I am a Sandpaperer."[15] Sandpaperer or not, Johnson's humor avoids negation, relying on the essentially positive nature of the true comic perspective.

This has been a rather rapidly-paced examination of the art and style of Ray Johnson. But there is not any one chronicler in the past who has gone even this far. Articles discussing Ray Johnson usually involve only one facet of his art as life as art. If for no other reason than a beginning, this paper has served its purpose for me. The early years of Ray Johnson are an incredible enigma wrapped up in a myth constructed by him. There is little known or said to the public about where the man came from. That is a topic worth investigation. A comparison of the early to late collages is also a possible topic for research. Unfortunatelyg one discovers that Johnson takes his old pieces that have not sold, cuts them up, and makes new pieces out of them. (Not a bad idea, actually.) And there is the New York Correspondence School--but which aspect? The membership list? The content of the mailings? The value of the art as correspondence? Or, what about the NYCS meetings? Just exactly what was Ray Johnson's role in the whole affairs from an analytical point of view?

The topics listed above cover only concrete material and events. What about the more abstract topics, such as humor, games, and philosophical and aesthetic pigeonholes? There are books and books written about humor in the literary world, but where are those for the art world? Johnson's art and attitudes would. make material for at least a chapter or two. Too, games seem to be popular with psychologists these days. That would. lead naturally to an indepth study of the significance of the encounter situations created by Ray Johnson. The psychological study would in turn lead us almost directly to the sociologists and the linguists. The sociological study could probe Ray Johnson as a popular artist. The linguist could show a logical progression from the earlier correspondences to those of the present day (after a sufficient amount of time spent finding all those older pieces). Ray Johnson is a new form of popular artist--what of the other popular culture apects he has promulgated? Mail art as a form of mass communication in an Impersonal world? The New York Correspondence School and its meetings--a revival of the New England town meeting? Perhaps by speaking in historical modes, we could attempt to analyze and label Ray Johnson.

But it was not the purpose of this paper to label Ray Johnson, to put him into any one particular pigeonhole. It was my intent to introduce Ray Johnson--his basic ideas, the basic elements of his art. As the list of topics above shows, I am still exploring. At the present time, I can only conclude that Ray Johnson is the Big Collage."

Karen Hoffman

There is a book called "Collage: critical views" I need to get my hands on.
"The sensation of physically operating on the world is ery strong in the medium of collage...I do feel more joyful with collage, less austere. A form of play." Robert Motherwell, quoted by Katherine Hoffman, "Collage in the twentieth century: an overview" in Collage: critical views, Ann Arbor, UMI Research Press, 1989, p. 18.


Where do you get your inspiration? Karen got back to me about her blog....I had asked about her numbered collages. She is doing them in affiliation with a yahoo group called Daily Devotions 365 Days. "The goal of this group is to create a piece of art every day for a year. You can call it an art journal, sketchbook, series, doodle, or creative exercise. We are calling it "Daily Devotions"."
Inspiration for creativity comes from so many places. As long as we are expressing ourselves and therefore changing the world, I think it's all good.

My discovery of Archigram and it's Collage Connection

Probing the net once again, and digging up references to collage and how it influences our art, culture and life, I found out about Archigram. "The movement came into being in late 1960, in the Hampstead area of London as a self-generated forum for several young and recently graduated architects"...Archigram is described as "the architectural collages and polemics produced by the Archigram group in England during the nineteen sixties" by Prof. David Walters, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UNC in Charlotte in this article.
I personally have not ever heard of Archigram, so it was interesting to discover something entirely new to me. Apparently these guys were hard core, believing in..."the tradition of radical modernism enunciated by Nietzsche ("Whoever wants to be creative . . . . must first . . . . annihilat[e] and destroy values"); and Henrik Ibsen ("The great task of our time is to blow up all existing institutions - to destroy")". Hard Core. Sounds like the attitude today. Be or Be Destroyed! ouch!!

"These home-produced magazines utilized collage (or more accurately, montage) as their primary medium, with photographs, drawings and text defying any attempt at conventional reading"..." For the early issues of the Archigram magazine the choice of the collage medium was a conscious one, a deliberate collision of form and content designed to frustrate conventional synthesis."...
I found this paragraph particularly interesting....noting a collage effect in Architecture....
" It was not until the mid 1970s that any scholarly or critical discussion of the medium of collage re-entered the theoretical discourse of architecture in any meaningful way. In the August 1975 issue of Architectural Review, Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter set out their theory of Collage City, where the authors envisaged the city as an aggregate of discontinuous fragments, creating ". . . a highly impacted condition of symbolic reference. . ." This seems very like Pound's superpositioning, or Braque and Picasso's early cubist collages, and indeed, in a key passage Koetter and Rowe quote Alfred Barr's analysis of Picasso's "Still Life with Chair Caning" as an incitement to architects to engage in the manipulation of multiple levels of urban reality, all constructed from disparate elements, artifacts and allusions. The "Collage City" article achieved a highly rigorous theoretical tone, and thus stands as an important benchmark in the evolution of postmodern urban aesthetics..."

And finally read how collage was used to illustrate a method of transformation ...
"The collages of Archigram were intentionally shocking, brash and 'difficult', deliberately fracturing the illusion of real space, or providing multiple overlapping views, as opposed to the cultured urban elegance of "The Civilian Dream." The intention of Archigram was to break down real and imagined barriers of form and statement on the page just as much as on the ground in actual construction, and the media of collage and montage were the means of assault. The ambition of Cook, Herron and the others was to provoke discussion by evocative, colliding images, layered one over another so that the argument was not decipherable by the standards of conventional text or linear reasoning, but rather by the simultaneous collage of the information board. The group had particular literary objectives in their manipulation of the printed word and evocative image. They felt that in this way their message would be transmitted most effectively, and at the same time remain free from the deadening embrace of the architectural literary and critical establishment."
Cool stuff. Collage is not only an art form. Apparently it is also a method.


Karen Bettencourt's blog

Found alot of interesting images on Karen's blog. She must be working on a collage a day project of some type. I am hoping for more info about this...


I wanted to take a moment to mention a source of income that most artists may not be aware of, or maybe haven't ever bothered with. The Grant!
I live in rural upstate NY and finding opportunities is hard. There isn't much culture here besides nascar and cow tipping...So when I read about grants in an artist promotion book, I was ready and willing to apply. I had nothing to lose! And positively, if you don't apply, you won't get anything. period.That's a fact.
I ended up applying for a few grants last year.... One in particular was through our tricounty arts council. They offered a $2500 individual artist grant for an artist living in these specific 3 counties in NY state for an art project that could be shared with the community. I was pretty skeptical about the whole thing, but wanted to experience the application process and try for it. Why Not?
Well I got an email late last week about the grant. I won it! So in the spring I will have $2500 for art. The point of all this is that there really is money out there for our various art adventures. It may be limited, yes, and you may have to do some legwork to present yourself, but if you have something interesting you want to try with your creativity and you need some capital, you should look into a grant. We all pay taxes! We deserve this money! and You don't have to pay it back!! You may have to list what you will spend the money on, but hey, wouldn't we all just love a $2500 trip to Dick Blicks? I have listed a link on the sidebar that is called NYFA> It is a very informative site that has all kinds of information about funding, exhibiting, grants...There is a large searchable database and although it is a NY based site, there are so many opportunities listed here from around the world. It is a great source for those who seek additional information on money and promoting yourself, not just for New Yorkers but for all artists. Check it out.

National Collage Society

I haven't joined ...............YET.
But I will be shortly. I think organizations can help promote collage as an artform. The more the merrier!
National Collage Society Website
Their membership application is here.
The due date for the NCS 23rd Annual Juried Exhibit is July 8. This page has the skinny.

Dodi Wexler

I found some images by Dodi Wexler on coolhunting.com
These are pretty phresh looking collages. I really liked the celestial feeling from one entitled "Cow Phoenix With Moon Under Firmament on High"

Peter Lewis and Some Surrealist Collage

Welcome to the Collage Circus
A gallery of paper collages sliced and diced with a scalpel flourish not seen since that nasty business in white chapel! Surrealist Weirdness built from Victorian Engravings to amuse and confuse the viewer and otherwise interfere with the normal functioning of the mind!

Free Your Mind, 2005, Peter Lewis

The black and white Peter Lewis work reminds me of some of these collages by Joseph Cornell...

Collages, Joseph Cornell

As I was searching to find these Cornell works, I came upon this interesting pageof Surrealist collage. I had not heard of some of these people. I just want to list the names for future posterity...and more google searches!!
Eileen Agar • Max Bucaille • Claude Cahun • Joseph Cornell • Enrico Donati • Max Ernst • Otto Hofmann • Geoges Hugnet • Nicolas de Lukuona • Herbert Lit • Marcel Marien • Andre Masson • Valentine Penrose • Jacques Prevert • Franz Roh • Victor Vasarely

I seriously liked this piece by Jacques Prevert.


Laura Lein-Svencner

Laura is a busy collage artist in Illinois. Her site is loaded with images and information. Laura is a co-founder and president of the Midwest Collage Society; a group based in the western suburbs of Chicago. She is a fellow Human Artefakts exhibitor, and also spearheaded our exhibition there at Artful Gatherings, Lemont, IL, from May 2 to May 27 2006. That's a subject for an entire new blog entry! I was grateful for all the orgranization required on her end...Her work can be seen on her site

It is great to know about societies of Collagists. I know I have been remiss in not joining the National Collage Society. I have wanted to do this for a few years now, but it never became top priority. I think it is good to band together and promote collage as a whole. I am comparing collage to photography; it is a particular branch of creativity. It is a study of it's own. There are photography groups and photographic societies...It would be excellent to know that techniques and knowledge could be shared person to person in a collage society.
Then again, I have been living out in the woods. Maybe I am ultra sensitive to the group thing!
I will have to look and see if there is anything like this existing in upstate NY.

Paste Up Call for Entries

April 5 through April 29, 2007

Entries are arriving almost daily, get yours in the mail soon.

A juried exhibition of small format collage to be presented at the Ayer
Lofts Gallery in Lowell Massachusetts

Work, when mounted for gallery presentation, may be no longer 17" on its
longest side. All entries must have been completed after January 2005.
We encourage submission of work that is for sale. Work can be paper,
found objects, textile or any combination of all three. Work cannot be
more than 1" deep.

Web site:
Paste UP
There are links on that page that will connect you with PDF or HTML
versions of the Prospectus and Entry Form. Here are the links to the
HTML versions of the two documents.
For more information email:

01/15/2007 Deadline for submission
01/31/2007 Notifications complete
03/01/2007 Shipped entries due
03/15/2007 Hand delivered entries due
04/05/2007 Show opens
04/07/2007 Reception
04/29/2007 Show closes
05/01/2007 Hand delivered entry pickup
Shipped entries returned early May, 2007

The Ayer Lofts Gallery is a cooperative gallery located in the first
building designated as artist live/work space by the city of Lowell.
Across the street from the New England Quilt Museum and up the block
from the Revolving Museum, the Ayer Lofts and its Gallery are a vibrant
part of the Lowell arts community.
Ayer Lofts Gallery

Karen Bettencourt, Collage and Fiber Artist
Maxine Farkas, Painter
Mary Hart, Calligraphic Work, Artist Books, Encaustic Painting and Collage
Karen Bettencourt Woburn, MA
Karen's Blog


Damen Studio

Damen Studio
DAMeN Studio is only accepting submissions for the website at the moment . If you are interested in displaying your work and would like to submit a portfolio please email us at info@damenstudio.com

Magda Dudziak

"When I start working on a piece I usually pick one seemingly simple inert image or artifact and place it on a canvas in an almost Weegie board like fashion. From there I’m off on an exciting and intense journey into the unknown arranging reusable materials like antique photographs, long forgotten letters, found regalia and giving them new meaning. I also include acrylic paint, oil sticks, Indian ink, varnish, beeswax, or whatever other medium I find to compliment and increase the visual acumen of my art work at that very moment!"....

Colin Johnson

Work by Colin Johnson found on flickr.
I really liked the collage application in this work. Especially the strange animal in the middle on the left....it's head is absurd and very eye catching.
Two Worlds, artwork size: approximately 9-1/2”W x 8-1/2”H & framed size: 16”W x 16”H, mixed media on illustration board, $800

Artwork for the upcoming 4 person show that i'm a part of at BLVD Gallery in Seattle which opens December 8th and features the work of Mike Leavitt, Kristian Olson, Chris Huth, and Colin Johnson. For more information check out the BLVD Gallery site at:




Matthew Rose

I belong to the collage group on yahoo. A post today alerted me to this most excellent work by Matthew Rose.
The exhibit room with so many works on the wall is staggering coupled with a generous gift of magnifying glasses with which to view even closer bizarreness!!
More of his work can be found here


Alain Valet

Exposition permanente des collages numériques des artistes membres de l'Union européenne élargie des pays collagistes...
My friend Alain Valet in Belgium has interesting info on his blog...
located here

random link party

Lindsay Barrie
The drawing center
peter blum
ART is SPEctrum

paul watson

Some interesting artwork on this site. I liked the modern freshness of his images in Principia Discordia.
I liked his forum and liked the idea of the contact with buyers while work was being accomplished.


Michael Oatman

TITLE: Anaximander
ARTIST: Michael Oatman
CATEGORY: Mixed Media
MATERIALS: Collage on paper on board, with predella of 40 micro-collages in found brass frames on oak frame
SIZE: h: 75 x w: 55 in / h: 190.5 x w: 139.7 cm

I really liked the idea of micro collages in found brass frames. Nice treament.

New Collage

Did a google search on New Collage. I wanted to see what is going on out there. maybe cull some more gallery names.
Pavel Zoubok Gallery
New Collage: An exhibition at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery In NYC.
533 W. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
Here is the press release:

THE NEW COLLAGE June 1 – August 12, 2006

PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of THE NEW COLLAGE, a large-scale survey exhibition of new and recent work by fifty-two contemporary artists working within the aesthetic and practice of collage; including Nora Aslan, Tony Fitzpatrick, Wangechi Mutu, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Javier Pinon, Fred Tomaselli, Dodi Wexler and C.K. Wilde. Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, June 1, from 6-8pm, or during the run of the exhibition, which continues through August 12.

The gallery is located at: 533 West 23rd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues)

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm (during the month of June) Summer Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am-6pm (from July 1)

Since 1997, Pavel Zoubok Gallery has exhibited the work of contemporary and modern artists with a particular focus in the field of collage, assemblage and mixed media installation. Over the years the gallery’s exhibition program has expanded to include paintings and drawings by artists whose work embraces a montage, or collage aesthetic. Following last year’s COLLAGE: signs & surfaces, the current exhibition builds upon the gallery’s art historical programming by exploring collage in contemporary practice through the work of fifty-two artists:


THE NEW COLLAGE explores the ways in which contemporary artists have increasingly drawn upon and expanded the traditions laid down through the preceding century. In part, this renewed interest in collage has been bolstered by an increased critical focus on drawings and works on paper, a “trend” whose momentum has found validation in both the scholarly and commercial branches of the art world. The “new collage” is without question a more inclusive field, one in which cutting and pasting is no longer a revolutionary act in itself, but rather a natural expression of daily experience. As we now live in a world in which information and imagery comes to us in layers and/or fragments, it is only natural that our visual culture should reflect this. In looking at the artists in the exhibition, what is immediately apparent is the broad range of styles and processes that define their aesthetics. The new collage has come to include every conceivable material and method, from traditional cut and paste to the use of trompe l'oeil, photomontage and digital layering, crossing every stylistic and conceptual boundary. While the Modernist period saw only a handful of full-fledged collagists, numerous artists working today have made collage their primary visual language, expanding the field and challenging our ways of looking.

42 Images from this Pavel Zoubok show are housed digitally at the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
Pavel Zoubok Gallery


Layering Towards Reality

Reading the previous greenberg commentary gave me a little bit of insight on the "why" of collage. These artists were pushing the limit with cubism, and stretching the boundaries of what was being done. Their reasons may not have been clear, but it is interesting how the layering of the substrate came about.

I am thinking about layering in my art specifically. I don't layer things for reality, for 3d punch...I tend to use the various layers and pieces of ephemera as paints. Each texture becomes it's own paint or color...and therefore can fill the area. I have not really exploited the 3d possibility of adding something to the base of the art. I have seen collage work that has 3d pieces built into it, using foamboard and repetitive images, but not until reading this article did I feel as tho the layers in my work could become something else besides a type of "paint".

Commentary by Clement Greenberg

"COLLAGE WAS A major turning point in the evolution of Cubism, and therefore a major turning point in the whole evolution of modernist art in this century. Who invented collage--Braque or Picasso--and when is still not settled. Both artists left most of the work they did between I907 and 1914 undated as well as unsigned; and each claims, or implies the claim, that his was the first collage of all...
...the task of keeping the surface at arm's length fell all the more to eye-undeceiving contrivances. To reinforce, and sometimes to replace, the simulated typography, Braque and Picasso began to mix sand and other foreign substances with their paint; the granular texture thus created likewise called attention to the reality of the surface and was effective over much larger areas. In certain other pictures, however, Braque began to paint areas in exact simulation of wood graining or marbleizing. These areas by virtue of their abrupt density of pattern, stated the literal surface with such new and superior force that the resulting contrast drove the simulated printing into a depth from which it could be rescued--and set to shuttling again--only by conventional perspective; that is, by being placed in such relation to the forms depicted within the illusion that these forms left no room for the typography except near the surface...

...When we examine what each master says was his first collage we see that much the same thing happens in each. (It makes no real difference that Braque's collage is on paper and eked out in charcoal, while Picasso's is on canvas and eked out in oil.) By its greater corporeal presence and its greater extraneousness, the affixed paper or cloth serves for a seeming moment to push everything else into a more vivid idea of depth than the simulated printing or simulated textures had ever done. But here again, the surface-declaring device both overshoots and falls short of its aim. For the illusion of depth created by the contrast between the affixed material and everything else gives way immediately to an illusion of forms in bas-relief, which gives way in turn, and with equal immediacy, to an illusion that seems to contain both--or neither."


First Post

I have been searching the web and looking for serious information about collage. I want to read commentary, criticism and find out where exactly does collage fit into the bigger world of art? I am finding that the information about this particular genre is scattered far and wide, like a vast international informational collage. I thought it might be wise to begin culling everything and anything I can about collage and putting it into one big clearinghouse, one place where you could read about collage, find out more about it in a larger context, read comments, engage discussion and continue to grow.

In view of our current copyright policy changes here in the US, collage could become a place where a battle occurs. Certainly collage has legal gray areas and this seems to keep people edgy about what to do with collage artworks. As a collage artist myself, I wonder about how a gallery feels posting creations that contain copyrighted images done by others...Does this inhibit collage in general? Does it make it more edgy? Is it less legitimate because we are not making every item ourselves?? It is important to keep a running record of where trends are headed, what people think of them, and how do we protect the art that we want to do.

This blog will be dedicated to bringing information about mixed media collage to whoever is interested.

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.