For most of us the word collage brings back memories of school art classes. But among artists, there’s now a resurgence in using collage combined with other media, such as painting and photography, with creative results.
A case in point is the latest exhibition at Beers Contemporary, which features three American artists who all have a different take on collage, and have all created arresting and innovative works.
Brian Porray uses bright colours to create a sort of psychedelic tapestry full of chaotic colours and shapes that are searingly bright. They are the most eye-catching works on display in this show, though we actually preferred the works of the two adjacent artists.
Michael Mapes’ technique is particularly poignant: paintings by Dutch masters are replicated using ephemera including buttons, hair and sea shells. Typically, a portrait is a way to remember someone, and the objects used in Mapes’ works have a weathered and personal feel to them, which is particularly apt.
Our favourite items in the show are the abstract works of Frank Hallam Day. From a distance they appear to be paintings in the mould of Mark Rothko but close-up, transpire to be photographs of ships’ hulls. These abandoned West African vessels have been weathered and are seen as very little use to the locals, yet when portrayed like this, there is a beauty to them that is probably missed by those who walk past them every day.
This is a varied group show by three artists whose contemporary take on collage produces engaging results.
Cut-Copy-Paste in at Beers Contemporary, 1 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU until 27 September. Entrance is free.