Kolaj #29


Kolaj #29 looks at collage in The Cool Zone of history: how collage artists are responding to COVID-19; how collagists in Warsaw used collage to tell the story of their neighbourhood; how collage artists go big with a public mural in Alabama and the CollabSlab in New Orleans. Artist portfolios demonstrate how Crissy Arseneau strives for order, but only occasionally finds it; how Angela Gaffney-Smith’s collage reflects her constant communication with the environment; how Aaron Coleman uses collage to comment on discrimination, civil rights, and the misuse of religion; how Andrés Gamiochipi collages with science; and how Scott Austin’s three-dimensional collage is a testament to the medium’s ability to venture from the flat plane. We report on American and Canadian collagists winning art prizes; the new issue in Aaron Beebe Collage’s {th ink} series, objectextion; and Kolaj LIVE Online, which will manifest Kolaj Magazine through virtual programming. And we have a new Cut Out page by Canadian artist Louise Héroux. Our goal with every issue is that Kolaj Magazine is essential reading for anyone interested in the role of contemporary collage in art, culture, and society.


Electrum #47 by David Crunelle is on the cover. Crunelle’s lenticular collages were the subject of his virtual exhibition, “Electrum”. The opening of the show “was actually a lot of fun, even more than during a regular, stressful and exhausting opening.”

In his editorial, Ric Kasini Kadour reminds collage artists, that even though we are in the “Cool Zone” of history, this is no time to pause. Artists have an important role to play in making the unseen, seen.

Kolaj LIVE Online is a series of virtual programs that manifests Kolaj Magazine by bringing together artists, curators, and writers to share ideas that deepen our understanding of collage. Lyndon Barrois, Jr. is the winner of the 2020 Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award and five Canadian collage and assemblage artists are long listed for the Sobey Art Award 2020, each winning $25,000. {th ink} 2: objectextion, dedicated to those affected by coronavirus, is the latest volume from Aaron Beebe Collage.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic informing collage? We profile a selection of artist responses: Wing Chan, Mario Sostre, Elena Øhlander, Lunel Haysmer, David Crunelle, and Dominik Senaq. Danielle Cole writes about how to make a collage kit and, in doing so, how to respond to a pandemic. Collage Communities around the world are adjusting to COVID-19. Christopher Kurts reports that “despite the loss, collage artists continue to push forward with the things they can do; making art where they can and lifting each other up as they go.”

A conversation between artists Andrea Burgay and Clive Knights evolved from a discussion planned for Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2019. Introducing the atypical collage practices of both artists, the dialogue focuses on the use of physical methods of excavation as a metaphor for ideas that drive their work. Part One, in Kolaj #28, featured Burgay interviewing Knights. Part Two, in Kolaj #29, features Knights interviewing Burgay.

Polish collagiste Marta Janik describes “Collage Language”, a project started in 2019 to document and activate collage artists in the Praga Północ district of Warsaw.

Over the next year, Kolaj Magazine is publishing a series of articles that investigates the strategies and approaches artists use to go big, increase the scale of their work, and engage with the larger art world. The second of these articles examines the Black Warrior River Mural that was the result of a proposal from University of Alabama professor Teresa Cribelli’s Environmental History of the Americas class and CollabSlab, a project originally designed for Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2019.

Billy Renkl reviews “Max Ernst: Collages”, which was on view at Kasmin Gallery in New York in January and February 2020.

Amsterdam-based collagist Bob Bunck is the subject of a profile. The artist says, “My philosophy concerning the free mind of the artist, implicates that freedom of choice for any material should be an undisputed starting point.”

And a Kiss for Good Measure is this issue’s Cut Out Page by Aylmer, Quebec artist Louise Héroux.

Collages by Crissy Arseneau, Scott Austin, Aaron Coleman, Angela Gaffney-Smith, and Andrés Gamiochipi whose Artist Portfolios appear in Kolaj #29.

Artist Portfolios

Crissy Arseneau
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
“Collage is a practice of limitations with unlimited outcomes. The limitations I’ve set for most of my current work is watercolour paper, both left unpainted and hand-painted with watermedia, that is then hand-cut and assembled.”

Angela Gaffney-Smith
Saugerties, New York, USA
“I feel like I’m in constant communication with the environment: plants, trees, bees, flowers, animals. Details of sights, sounds, smells flood my senses and I take that energy and put it back into my work.”

Aaron Coleman
Tucson, Arizona, USA
“Earth is a disaster area, a gigantic crime scene. My work takes on the characteristics of this global chaos. Each piece is an explosive combination of comic book pages, religious iconography and advertising which illustrates a world in ruin and the heroes and villains who occupy it.”

Andrés Gamiochipi
Mexico City, Mexico
“The idea behind that project is that religious institutions are metaphorically sick nowadays, and the whole series is an attempt to question the place of some religious beliefs in contemporary culture and society, since we need the stories and the myths to cope with reality.”

Scott Austin
San Francisco, California, USA
“When I’m working on a collage, I want to tell a story with it, and I want the collage to be engaging enough to bring the viewer closer.”

Kolaj Magazine relies our subscribers. Their support of this magazine keeps us going and makes it possible for us to investigate and document collage and to promote a deeper, more complex understanding of the medium and its role in art history and contemporary art.


Current subscribers will receive their copy by 15 July 2020.