Monday, December 12, 2016

Dada Centennial Exhibition - International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction, Santa Fe, USA

After reading online about the upcoming 100 year anniversary of Dada I discovered that the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction in Santa Fe - USA, was hosting an exhibition and inviting artists to create work along this theme. As I have always loved the work of Kurt Schwitters I decided to create an homage to the master and thereby participate in this Dada Centennial Exhibition.

I chose one work (not easy, he made so many wonderful pieces) and attempted to create my own interpretation of it. I used his piece 'Merzbild 5A Spielkartenharmonika' 1919 and using this as a guide I proceeded to make a collage in response to it.

I first made a rough under-drawing to work out the structure and then blocked in tones and colours. On top of this I pulled the colours together, intensified them and then began adding layers of other materials. I didn't try to employ exactly the same materials of course, and once underway I needed to pay attention to what was happening within my work even if that meant straying a little from Schwitters' original work. Consequently my final work is not a copy of his work but is close enough to be a response, a tribute. The colour palette I employed is different, wider and more vibrant, saturated, while Schwitters chose a more restrained, sombre feel. Often, the natural effects of aging act to pull colours closer together.
Recently I have been working on collaborative drawings, part of a drawing dialogue project and this short exercise I set myself also felt a little like a dialogue with Schwitters and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Kurt Schwitters: Merzbild 5A Spielkartenharmonika, 1919

Initial under-drawing

Tones and initial colour blocking completed

Colour sharpening and first layers added

Final condition, 2016 (photograph courtesy of the 
International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction)

My homage to Kurt Schwitters side-by-side with the master's work!

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