Meaning of Collage

What is Collage:

Collage is the name given to a two-dimensional plastic arts technique that consists of joining, adhering or superimposing images, fragments and materials of different types and sources on a single surface.

The word collage comes from the French coller, which means to strain, adhere or stick on a surface.

Raoul Hausmann: Elasticum. 1920. Collage.

The purpose of the technique is to seek to evoke different textures and / or figurative and conceptual associations. The collage allows the artist or craftsman to combine on the surface fragments of photographs, fabrics, newspapers, magazines, paper, cardboard, cork, leather, sawdust, pencil shavings, metal, plastic, wood, etc.

By extension it is called collage to all compositional techniques (musical, literary, cinematographic or otherwise) that articulate or superimpose fragments of different origin in a single piece.

Today there are digital applications that automate the process of collage from photographs and digitized images.

Origin of collage

The background of the collage they go back to the Ancient East. Calligraphers in Japan are known to prepare surfaces with multi-colored paper cutouts and glue to write their poems.

The technique of collage it was introduced to the plastic arts in the 20th century by Cubism. In this regard, there is a dispute over who was the first of the Cubists to make it known: Braque or Picasso, since both painters applied the technique in 1912.

Picasso used rubber and other resources as rope in his work Still life with fishnet chair. Braque used wood-imitating wallpaper cutouts in his work Tete de femme.

Pablo Picasso: Still life with fishnet chair. 1912. Technique: collage of oil, waxed cloth, paper and rope on canvas. Measurements: 27 x 35 cm.

In any case, it is known for sure that this movement implemented the technique for the first time, and its impact was so significant that from there it also passed to other trends such as Dadaism and Surrealism. His imprint was felt in the second wave of avant-garde, as in pop art, and also in twentieth-century graphic design.

Dadaism, based on the technique of collage, managed to go a step further by introducing the technique of ready made or “found object”, a technique that consisted of taking an object from everyday life and intervening on it.

Collage has been used as an artistic technique by figures such as Juan Gris, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, George Grosz, Yoly Vittorino, Arthur G. Dove, Edoardo Paolozzi, among others.

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