McClain Gallery is pleased to announce a special exhibition in the West Gallery in partnership with New York-based Pavel Zoubok Gallery featuring works by Barton Lidicé Beneš (1942-2012), Buster Cleveland (1943-1988), Matthew Cusick, Marietta Ganapin, Ilse Getz (1917-1992), Al Hansen (1927-1995), Addie Herder (1920-2009), Clinton Hill (1922-2003), Hannah Höch (1889-1978), Don Joint, Kühne/Klein, Jiřĺ Kolář (1914-2002), Charles McGill, Salvatore Meo (1914-2004), Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Robert Nickle (1919-1980), Javier Piñón, David Poppie, Mimmo Rotella (1918-2006), Raven Schlossberg, Donna Sharrett, Al Souza, Stephen Sollins, Lane Twitchell, and Mark Wagner. Zoubok curated the "pop-up" exhibition to complement McClain Gallery's Motherwell exhibition, and highlight a diverse group of collage works ranging from historic material to work by contemporary artists represented in his stable. He will be in town for the opening reception and is available by appointment Friday, October 11 - Sunday, October 13. The exhibition will be on view through November 16, 2013.
Perhaps no art form expresses the character of the last century and of the contemporary moment with greater clarity and immediacy than collage. Narrowly defined, collage is the construction of images through the deceptively simple act of pasting cut or torn papers. The term derives from the French word coller, meaning to glue, paste, or stick. Collage, however, is much more than a medium for making pictures. It is a mode of perception, a multi-dimensional language with aesthetic implications that span the histories of art, architecture, literature and music. In the visual arts collage first emerged as a fine art medium in the papier colles, or pasted papers of the Cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Since then, it has played a vital role in almost every phase of Modernism. Its influence is most poignantly reflected in Italian Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art and Fluxus. Of the many modern masters who worked in collage, however, only a handful can be considered collagists in the fullest sense. Artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell, to name but a few, changed the face of Modernism by asserting that art could indeed be made from almost anything. Even the pictorial purity of Abstract Expressionism could not evade the powerful allure of collage. Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner and Anne Ryan used collage to expand the practice of abstract painting.
From the mid-twentieth century forward, artists have continued to use collage to address a wide range of formal and thematic concerns. While the Modernist period saw only a handful of bona fide collagists, numerous artists working today have made collage (and by extension assemblage and mixed-media installation) their primary medium and continue to explore and extend its boundaries. The current exhibition serves as a panorama of contemporary approaches to this tradition, focusing largely on the American scene.
Collage engages us with an immediacy that is distinct from other practices. The artist confronts us with a vision of the world that is literally constructed from the physical context of his/her own experience. Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are inextricably linked to the realities of daily life, the artist establishes an immediate identification, both real and imagined, between the viewer and the work. The simplicity of the collage process adds to a general sense of immediacy and spontaneity. These basic principles allow for limitless associative possibilities - the very foundation of our emergent digital culture. Collage allows the artist to explore simultaneously the mysterious spaces between high art and popular culture, text and image, figuration and abstraction, past and present, two and three-dimensional space. Simply put, it is the alchemy of the ordinary.
About Pavel Zoubok Gallery
Since 1997, Pavel Zoubok Gallery has specialized in collage, assemblage and mixed-media installation. From the outset, the gallery's program has presented modern and contemporary works in an effort to create a cohesive art historical context for collage and its related forms spanning most of the major art movements of the postwar period.
Since the gallery's 2004 relocation to a ground floor space in the heart of Chelsea, they regularly publish exhibition catalogues collaborating with numerous scholars and critics. In addition, Pavel Zoubok Gallery has also maintained a tangential but related interest in Surrealism, establishing an inventory of works by artists such as Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta, George Hugnet, Kay Sage and Stella Snead. In 2009, Pavel Zoubok Gallery was made a member of the ADAA (Art Dealer's Association of America).