Friday, February 27, 2015
Student Picks: Clutter + Collage
Student Picks is a SCMA program in which Smith students organize their own one-day art show using our collection of works on paper. This month’s student curator and guest blogger Samantha Page '17 discusses her show “Clutter + Collage: Mixed Media on Paper” which will be on view FRIDAY, March 6 from 12-4 PM in the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. We hope to see you here!
Anne Ryan, American (1889 - 1954). Collage, no date. Paper and cloth collage with watercolor on heavy textured white wove paper. Gift of Mrs. Alfred H. Barr Jr. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 1979:8-2
Across medium and aesthetic mood, these works on paper evoke stories and senses through layers, both visual and material. Although we can’t touch Anne Ryan’s tender patchwork or Jiri Kolar’s decoupage, the textures and colors resonate in the mind. The limitations on our interactions with art objects that beg to be touched push us to engage with them in new realms of our imaginations.
Jiri Kolar, Czechoslovakian (1914 - 2002). Wine Press, 1967. Paper bits collaged to wood backing and to attached wine press. Gift of Virginia Dwyer Caruthers. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 1995:39
By creating depth in the layers of materials, as in Qiu Deshu’s Blue Mountain and Reika Iwami’s Autumn, the artists and their works expand our sense of space and bring us to a unique place in which we view each piece of art.
Qiu Deshu, Chinese (1948 - ). Blue Mountain, late 1990s. Collage and acrylic on paper. Gift of Joan Lebold Cohen, class of 1954, and Jerome A. Cohen. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2007:59-8
Reika Iwami, Japanese (1927 - ). Autumn, 1978. Woodblock and collograph printed in black and metallic ink with embossing on medium thick, slightly textured cream-colored paper. Gift of The Tolman Collection, Tokyo, in honor of Hilary Tolman, class of 1987, on the occasion of her 20th reunion. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2007:10-4
The counterintuitive nature of this visual disorder also appeals. The clutter draws us in, as we get lost in the remnants of someone else’s life. If I made a collage like Thomas Barrow’s or Moyra Davey’s, what would it look like? What does the chaos of my life say about my time or me?
Thomas Barrow, American (1938 - ). FILMS, 1977. Photolithograph printed in color on paper. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2007:60-27
Moyra Davey, Canadian (1958 - ). Untitled from 16 Photographs from Paris, 2009. Folded digital c-print with paper tape, postage, and ink. Purchased with the Dorothy C. Miller, class of 1925, Fund. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2010:19-14
The fun in creating this exhibition was largely in the diversity of interpretations that we can apply to collage. Every artist brings his or her own ideas and experiences to each creation, ultimately benefitting us as viewers by opening our minds to the wealth of materials, subject matter, and methods that can create something jarring, beautiful, or confusing.
I hope this exhibition and its strange, funny, and stunning selection of works surprises and inspires viewers.