COLLAGE ON VIEW
at the Concord Art in Concord, Massachusetts, USA
20 June-11 August 2019
“Unfoldingobject” is the next exhibition an ongoing series to invite outside curators to organize themed exhibitions at Concord Art. Curated by artist and teacher Todd Bartel, “Unfoldingobject” showcases varying ways in which artists combine visual imagery to make collages. Bartel is the founder and gallery director of the Thompson Gallery, located at The Cambridge School of Weston, where he organizes three themed exhibitions each school year. The term “unfoldingobject” is a neologism coined by the Bartel, “to describe that quality in art that inspires repeat looking.” Bartel further describes, “I tried to pull together a group of collages that celebrate the importance of ‘listening to the picture,’ or champions a slow read, or otherwise reveal’s meaning through multiple viewings–artwork that unfolds messages and connections in time, rather than being immediately deliverable in an instant.”
The exhibition brings together a wide range of styles and approaches to collage making by 50 artists including: Nancy Baker, Sara Baker Michalak, Todd Bartel, Allan Bealy, Wayne Bertola, Varujan Boghosian, Andrea Burgay, Laura Christensen, Alfred DeCredico, Diane DelliCarpini, Adrienne Der Marderosian, Ben DiNino, Rich Fedorchak, Anna Fine Foer, Paul Forte, Antonio Fräppa, Luciana Frigerio, Ginnie Gardiner, Deb Goldstein, Kathy Greenwood, Rachel Hibbard, Angela V. Holland, Marnie Jain, Bo Joseph, Clive Knights, Erika Lawlor Schmidt, Kerith Lisi, D. Dominick Lombardi, Keith Maddy, China Marks, Jack Massey, Maureen McCabe, Talin Megherian, Charlie Nevad, Michael Oatman, Sherry Parker, Cory Peeke, W. David Powell, Gerri Rachins, Kenneth Ragsdale, Marcus Ratliff, Susan Reedy, Stephanie Roberts-Camello, James Andrew Scott, Wendy Seller, Jill Stoll, Joshua Stringer, Nate Stromberg, Peter Thomashow, Michael Waraksa.
Bartel points out, “collage is a celebration of unrelated and retrofitted images and materials that together produce a transformation; I’m fond of telling my students 1 + 1 = 3—One thing plus another thing equals a third thing.”
Collage came into the vanguard of modern art in 1912 when Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque began adding paper elements they did not make themselves to their paintings and drawings. The practice has become ubiquitous today. As a fine art practice, collage is little more than a hundred years old and yet, collage appears in every possible art genre. “The revolution of papier collé changed forever how not just paintings can be made, but how art in general can be made. Moreover, today, collage has evolved to the point where paper or glue are no longer required, as in the example of digital collage,” Bartel stated.
This is the first time in the history of the gallery that Concord Center for the Visual Arts is mounting an exhibition dedicated exclusively to the art of collage. The curator points out that collage “may look easy to do, but that,” he says, “is a deceiving aspect of collage. You have to first ‘find’ materials, then ‘mind’ how you use them, before you ‘bind’ them in place. A point of the exhibition is to provide opportunities to marvel at the use, alteration and transformation of found and appropriated images and ephemera.” Visitors to the show will find that there are also examples of collage which include the fabrication of materials created for specific purposes—and there is even a site-specific installation in the sky light by one of the artists. “Collage-based art encourages looking, wonder and invention for artists and viewers alike. And especially in today’s age of smartphones and tablets, which literally puts the world and its history in our hands, art like these collages reminds us of the importance of the hand-made object and the value of slowing down to take a second and third look,” Bartel said.
(adapted from the gallery’s press materials)
Concord Center for the Visual Arts
37 Lexington Road
Concord, Massachusetts 01742 USA
Images (top to bottom):
by Alfred DeCredico
Courtesy of the artist and Concord Center for Visual Arts
Germinal Velocity (By the Time I Get to Phoenix, She’ll be Rising)
by Michael Oatman
historic book cuttings on paper on board, frame made in collaboration with the artist’s father, Gordon Oatman
Photograph courtesy of Miller/Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA