The first two acknowledged masters of collage were German artists Max Ernst and Kurt Schwitters. These two men were both associated with (but not really a part of) Dada; Ernst was later considered one of the major Surrealist artists. These artists took collage in different directions.; both were extremely explorative and inventive, developing most of the collage techniques still discussed today, and together creating a vast area for subsequent artists to continue to explore. Both artists are too diverse to represent with a few images, so I would suggest checking out some of the many books in the library on them if you are interested in learning more about them.
|Max Ernst, from his surreal 1933 picture-novel titled "A Week of Kindness" (Une semaine de Bonté). Ernst's cuts are so precise that it is difficult to distinguish the different elements. This work is available in the library.|
|Max Ernst, another page from Une Semaine de Bonté|
|Max Ernst Red Forest (1970)|
|Kurt Schwitters. Mz. 252 Colored Squares (1922)|
|Kurt Schwitters Anything with Stone (1941) on the left and Merz picture 46 A(1921) on the right.|
|Kurt Schwitters. Neues Merxbild (1931). An example of one of Schwitter's assemblages.|
Although known as an abstract expressionist painter, Robert Motherwell was also a master of collage. Unlike the Cubists, who only dabbled with collage for a few years, Motherwell spent four decades making collages. These collages show a strong appreciation for and interest in the physical qualities of paper, from wallpaper to Japanese rice paper. Motherwell helped to show that collage could be a mature art form and a rich ground for visual and physical formal abstraction.
|Robert Motherwell. Pancho Villa, Dead or Alive (1943)|
|Robert Motherwell. U.S. Art, New York, NY (1962)|
|Robert Motherwell. Cafetiere Filtres (1963)|
|Robert Motherwell. Untitled (Blue Gauloises Collage) (1974)|
|Robert Motherwell. Australia II (1983)|