press release

Drawn from the museum’s collection, “After Collage” focuses on the evolving concept of collage as explored in the work of contemporary artists from 1976 to 2003. Representing a variety of media — both conventional and unconventional — works in the exhibition share a common idea: disparate elements come together to form a coherent whole that expresses the art of collage. The exhibition continues an examination of collage first presented in 2004, in “American Collage”, which featured work from the museum and The Phillips Collection.

Collage presented in the form of an artistic process dates back to Picasso and Braque, both of whom used the technique to underscore prevailing questions of meaning and representation in art. The collage of that period was characterized by fracture at a time when the art world was becoming more and more splintered. At that time, the continued efforts of the avant-garde to separate themselves from established norms disrupted the unity that had characterized art for centuries.

“Today, we’ve become accustomed to fracture,” said Laura Orgon, Dennis M. Luzak Graduate Fellow at the museum. “Our lives are characterized by collage and we hardly notice it. The cutting and pasting we perform daily on our personal computers to the kindergarten-era art projects we can all easily remember render the concept of collage ubiquitous in our daily lives. Popular music makes use of sampling and our ears have grown accustomed to it. Mainstream movies value the art of editing so that the result is at once visually stimulating and multivalent. Our eyes have become accustomed to this as well.”

This familiarity with the elements of collage in our daily lives makes it logical that today’s contemporary artists are inspired by the mixing of elements. Yet their work is not necessarily about fracture, but more about the combining elements in such a way that it has become second nature to a public who, therefore, may not always recognize the technique.

The artists featured in the exhibition include: John Baldessari, David Bunn, Maud Morgan, Lowell Nesbitt, Katherine Porter, Daniel Reeves and Frank Stella. A compilation of video work, including a recent piece by Kevin Everson, assistant professor in the McIntire Department of Art, also will be shown.


“After Collage”
U.Va Art Museum Explores The Evolving Concept Of Collage In Contemporary Art

mit John Baldessari, David Bunn, Maud Morgan, Lowell Nesbitt, Katherine Porter, Daniel Reeves, Frank Stella