What Happened to Motherwell’s Pink?

© Dedalus Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; used with permission

Robert Motherwell, “Pancho Villa Dead and Alive,” 1943 (MOMA/Dedalus Foundation)

Should collage artists worry about papers fading over time?  This question was prompted by a hugely informative post by artist/teacher Nancy Nikkal about the  recent Robert Motherwell exhibition at MOMA —  which I blogged about in “How Robert Motherwell Lost His Dada Cred.”

So…did Motherwell coat his papers on both sides with PVA?  I don’t think they even had PVA in 1946.  But should I be using it now?

Not being an art school grad, I have wondered about  this issue.  Some collage instruction books tell you it’s essential to protect your papers unchanged for eternity.  Was I being too lackadaisical about this? Continue reading

Art & Design in South Africa Today

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Mesuli Mamba, “Rolfe’s Environment”

Mesuli Mamba is prison warden and collage artist in Swaziland, South Africa.  That’s where he grew up.  Mamba first learned about art from his father’s collection of Reader’s Digest —  which he still mines for collage materials, along with drawings,  poetry texts,  and glossy magazines (which can be hard to  get).

The 34-year-old says: ” “Being a prison warden is tough. Real tough. But once you get used to it, you get to know the people in your community—we’re supposed to call them inmates but they’re just my machita [guys]. They don’t know about my collages yet.”

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Gift Guide for Collage Lovers

Screen shot 2013 09 25 at 4.07.31 PM DREAM MANDALA SCARVES BY ALEX & LEE: FALL 2013   The Sche Report / Margaret Sche

SHOP scrambled spells POSH————–and if your budget allows you to go really posh, then visit some galleries and actually buy collage art!

If not…I’ve collected a few collagey items which are mostly easy on the budget.

The exception is the Alex and Lee scarf above,  from the “Dream Mandala” collection based on their Rorschach collages.   There are nine different patterns (the one above is Turquoise Mosaic).

You can get these in square or rectangular in silk or modal/wool for $250 each at Cavalier Goods.

Now on to some more modest purchases and real steals.

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Exquisite Corpse Collage

A peek inside my bag of collage papers

A peek inside my bag of collage papers

A cafe in Paris, 1925. Suddenly, a little guy with a monocle jumps up at his table, crying “Follow me.” A “prime collection of zanies” leap to their feet, dashing out without paying for their coffee.

Out in the streets of Paris, the monocled guy—–like the Pied Piper———-leads the rest. “Solemnfaced,” they march, “executing a number of idiotic maneuvers.” All the while, they’re chanting: Dada, Dada, Dada.”

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Photo Collage: Miguel Rio Branco

Miguel Rio Branco installation (Photo: Pedro Motta)

It’s been called another Versailles.   Or the Disneyland of the future.   It’s Inhotim——-a huge art complex and botanical park in southeastern Brazil.   Privately owned, it’s got international art star installations and 12,000 varieties of palm trees.    Miguel Rio Branco  has his own pavilion there.

Rio Branco is a Brazilian photographer whose work, though stunning, is usually too seamy for me.   Among his favorite subjects are prostitutes —————not exactly Disney.  He describes the essence of his work this way:  “… being in paradise, yet having something absolutely terrible taking place.”

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Installation Collage: CandyCoated

Children's costume,  "Martha Washington,"  Early 20th c.,

Children’s costume,
“Martha Washington,”
Early 20th c.,

Say you’re planning a show of antique children’s costumes.   You know, Little Red Riding Hood.  Martha Washington. A  Maltese water carrier.  But you want to jazz it up a little———–after all, this is 2013.  Who you gonna call?

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How Robert Motherwell Lost His DADA Cred

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Robert Motherwell, “Jeune Fille,” 1944 Oil, ink, gouache, and pasted Kraft drawing paper, colored paper, Japanese paper, German decorative paper, and fabric on canvas board.

That headline needs some ‘splainin’, as Ricky Ricardo used to say.    First,  Dada—————-the more radical offshoot of Surrealism.   Dada was thought up after World War I by a bunch of punk writers and artists in Europe.  Okay, they didn’t use the word “punk.” But they were rebels. They flirted with nihilism. They wanted to shock.
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