Collage as Cut-n-Paste Past

Contested Definitions by Steven McCarthy
24″x24″x1.75”; mixed media collage on wood with epoxy varnish; 2021. Courtesy of the artist.


Steven McCarthy: Collage as Cut-n-Paste Past

at Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery at Alma College in Alma, Michigan, USA
12 February-14 March 2024

Steven McCarthy presents traditional cut and torn paper on paper collages, mixed media collages with assemblage elements mounted onto oak panels and coated with epoxy varnish, and large-scale collages made from discarded commercial billboards. His collages embrace the “incongruity theory of humor” with ample juxtaposition and parody, and yet strive for humanism through representation of diverse peoples and ideas. As a former graphic design professor, McCarthy’s work also employs a strong aesthetic and an attention to design elements and principles.

Contagion by Steven McCarthy
23″x15”; paper collage on paper; 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Steven McCarthy holds a MFA in Design from Stanford University and a BFA in art from Bradley University. His long-standing interest in theories of design authorship, as both scholar and practitioner, has led to lectures, exhibits, publications and grant-funded research on six continents. He has been in over 125 exhibitions and his artist’s books are in the collections of Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, University of California-Los Angeles and Berkeley, University of Washington, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa. McCarthy is Professor Emeritus of graphic design at the University of Minnesota. A portfolio of his work appeared in Kolaj 30. Kolaj reviewed his book Book Art The Information Electric Age in issue 17. He also participated as a panelist and presenter at Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2018.

(text adapted from material provided by the gallery and the artist)


Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery
Clack Art Center
Alma College
614 West Superior Street
Alma, Michigan 48801 USA
(989) 463-7286

Daily, 10AM-5PM