Photomechanical reproduction on magazine paper, collage
Image: 27 x 17.7 cm (10 5/8 x 6 15/16 in.); Mounted: 39.3 x 30.4 cm (15 1/2 x 11 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2007.51
© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Collage, a technique in which various materials are attached to a backing, was used by avant-garde artists to poetically comment on the strangeness of the world. Artists such as Vassily Komardenkov used collage to respond to the political and cultural conditions after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Georges Hugnet sought to take everyday images and make them unexpected, emphasizing unconscious thoughts and dreams. Advances in photomechanical processes had, by the 1920s and 1930s, made possible a new wave of mass-produced images, which saturated modern life. Artists across movements saw the potential in repurposing these as raw artistic material, recombining fragments from travel guides, postcards, film and fashion magazines, and advertisements to make new meanings.
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