This winter the Portland Museum of Art will explore the world of collages in the exhibition Collage: Piecing It Together, on view through February 28, 2010. Featuring approximately 25 works from the Museum’s collection and selected loans from contemporary Maine artists, this exhibition will explore the history of collage from its introduction in Europe in the early 20th century by artists such as Kurt Schwitters and Jean Arp to present day works by Maine artists such as Tom Hall and Aaron Stephan. The exhibition will also cover a wide range of collage techniques, including abstract works pieced together from newsprint and colored papers, collaged elements incorporated into drawings and prints, paintings that include collaged figurative elements, and photomontages.
Collage (from the French, coller, to glue) is a work of art made from the assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole. It became a distinctive part of the modern movement in the early 20th century, notably deployed by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso at the height of synthetic cubism, and it continues to be an important aspect of the visual arts in Maine today.
The exhibition demonstrates how collages by the renowned German modernist Kurt Schwitters and Surrealists Jean Arp and Joan Miró influenced the work of Abstract Expressionists including Anne Ryan, James Brooks, and John Hultberg.
In Maine today, artists continue to draw on the inventive nature of collage for works in a variety of media, such as Henry Wolyniec’s abstract collotypes that combine printmaking and traditional cut-paper compositions; Tom Hall’s landscape paintings with their found-paper elements; and Aaron Stephan’s portraits composed of deconstructed anatomy book illustrations.
Exhibition Celebration: Collage: Piecing It Together
Saturday, January 23, 11 a.m. to Noon. Free with Museum admission.
Join us for a panel discussion with artists in the exhibition Collage: Piecing It Together. Kate Cheney Chappell, Aaron Stephan, and Henry Wolyniec will discuss how they approach this complex medium and why they are drawn to it. Reception to follow in the McLellan House.
Saturday with Collage
Saturday, January 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $55/$40 members.
Warm up on a wintery Saturday in the Museum studio and learn contemporary collage processes and techniques! We’ll spend the day mixing media as you create your own masterpiece from a palette of torn papers, paint, and beautiful bits. Our special workshop will include a drawing session and tour in the exhibition Collage: Piecing It Together, where you’ll see, investigate, and appreciate the variety of interpretations of this modern medium! Bring your own lunch or join us in the Café. This workshop is for all skill levels and is limited to 20 people. All materials will be supplied.
The Portland Museum of Art is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland. The Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. Memorial Day through Columbus Day, the Museum is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with I.D., $4 for youth ages 6 to 17, and children under 6 are free. The Museum is free on Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Museum Cafe and Store. For more information, call (207) 775-6148. Web site www.portlandmuseum.org.