Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"generating collage material"

Yesterday I saw a friend, Gregg, who I've barely seen since we worked together at the art college library. (I left in 2001). Gregg had told me years ago about a found-materials collage artist who became one of my favorite artists, Kurt Schwitters
And yesterday Gregg told me about collage artist Anne Ryan (1889–1954).

I looked up her work, loved it, and noticed that while the Metropolitan Museum of Art mounted an exhibit of her art in 2010, The Prismatic Eye, Ryan includes threads and fabric in her collage--a little unusual for the fine-arty collage genre.

I looked further, and read:
"Anne Ryan didn’t start making collages until she was 58 . . . in 1948. Her components were often recycled, showing signs of their original use.
[Her daughter] McFadden said that her mother saved old dish towels to use in collages. “When something in the house got old, acquired by wear a ‘feel,’ and to the usual person was ready for the trash can, we would say,
 ‘Now it‘s getting to the collage stage.’”
That reminds me of something an art student told me that I've always cherished:
this student, a print maker, told me that when people asked him what he was working on, he always said,

"I'm generating collage material."

That covered every contingency: 

if he didn't like what he made, he cut it up to re-use.

Many of Ryan's piece are quite small, which makes them more intriguing and inviting to me---this one is about 6 in. x 5 in.:


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love her stuff. And I am betting that she didn't buy any of the materials but were truly found or used by her family. Unlike today where artists often think they have to buy stuff to create.

And the small size is even more impressive.

Thank you so much for posting to her work.

I have seen some of Joseph Cornell's work at the National Gallery of Art which was impressive.

Love the saying "generating collage material."


ArtSparker said...

Romaine Bearden worked in collage a lot, I think you would like his work.

Anonymous said...

ArtSparker-Thank you for the suggestion of Romare Bearden. His work is very interesting.

I was reading on the foundation website that he created his pieces about 20 " x 20" and then had them photographed and blown up.


Fresca said...

I like all those mix-em-up folks---Romare Bearden, Jospeh Cornell,
Robert Rauschenberg, Betye Saar---and... who's more current...?

Oh, I'd say the whole mash-up culture of fandom and pop culture, with memes and so forth, inherits that mix-and-match aesthetic.

What I miss is the TEXTURES of found objects, the literal cut-and-paste of collage, with, again the different qualities of different papers:
You can't wear out an internet image the way you can wear out a kitchen towel!