Skip to main content

Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) until October 27
Four stars

Everything connects in this major overview of the ultimate DIY artform, which brings together more than 180 works dating as far back as the sixteenth century. Back then, anatomical woodcuts with flaps to reveal bodily interiors were used as educational novelties, even as they predated the sort of paper dolls appropriated by the ultimate dressing-up-box mistress of reinvention Cindy Sherman for her short film, Doll Clothes (1975).

Sherman was one of a wave of women artists using collage in a way that opened the door for the feminist photo-montages of Linder or Penny Slinger. Along the way, an array of Dadaists, cubists, futurists and punk provocateurs mix and match words and pictures to disrupt, satirise and explode old ideas out of existence. Much of this is explicitly oppositionist, with John Hartfield’s anti-Nazi photomontages predating the likes of Peter Kennard’s Haywain with Cruise Missile (1980), while Jamie Reid’s graphics for the Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks album has its roots in Situationism.

With artists ranging from Picasso to Terry Gilliam, the umbilical links down the centuries are brought home with a narrative more straightforward than much of the work itself. One could imagine it all being housed in Peter Blake’s The Toy Shop (1962), which might be transplanted to the housing estate of Lucy Williams’ Crescent House (2015), where the peeling walls of Jacques Villegle’s Les Jazzmen (1961) might stand.

While we never quite get to the aural collages of sampling, Eduardo Paolozzi’s thirteen-minute film, History of Nothing, uses sound as well as vision to both illustrate and subvert the busy rush of a multi-tasking world. As it is, we finish with the likes of Christian Marclay, Jim Lambie and Jake and Dinos Chapman, who, in radically different ways, are still ripping it up and starting again. 

The List, July 2019.

ends


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug