Pasting or gluing of materials

Collage is a type of art that include the pasting or gluing of materials such as newspaper clippings, fur, package labels, pictures or any type of material, onto some type of base. An artist can change what he or she is creating; two dimensional to a three dimension (Stern, 2008). Collage also influences the perception of a viewer, thereby changing the relationship of the observer to the art object in a meaningful manner. In some ways collage is a short cut, a time saving device that might eliminate the need to paint some areas of a canvas. Collage has been around for a very long time. Cavemen may have used the principles of collage by adding material cave paintings (Stern, 2008). Collages have been used provide alternative texture to art, and to emphasize areas that the artist would like viewers to focus on. For example In Japan, artists added collages to their scrolls in order to improve their visual appearance. Collages have also been seen in a host of other cultures (Stern, 2008).

What is a collage

The origin of collage as we know it is attributed to both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso during the 20th century. This does not mean that they created it. In fact Italian portrait painters had already been pasting precious metals and jewelry onto their canvases. Picasso and Braque were influenced by the writings, theories, and paintings of Paul Cezanne. This impacted them so much that they began to paint in an abstract geometric style that was later referred to as analytic cubism. They tried to return to a more realistic form of painting and this resulted in them incorporating things such as string, sand and newspapers in their art.

Thus collage as a true art form was born as a result of the transition from analytic cubism to synthetic cubism. The Dadaists ("artists belonging to a movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values" (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, 2009)) and surrealists( the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, 2009)), used collage to express their views of society. A famous work in the Dadaist style is "The Urinal" by Marcel Duchamp. The word "collage" is French in origin, and comes from the French word "coller", which means to paste or glue. Therefore, a collage is "artistic technique of applying manufactured, printed, or "found" materials, such as bits of newspaper, fabric, wallpaper, etc., to a panel or canvas, frequently in combination with painting. In the 19th century, papiers colls were created from papers cut out and put together to form decorative compositions" (Encyclopdia Britannica, 2009).

The creators

Pablo Picasso was born October 25, 1881, Mlaga, Spain and died April 8, 1973, Mougins, France. He became a prolific painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. As stated earlier, he was one of the creators of cubism. Cubism can be seen as the opening up of closed form by the "re-presentation" of the form of objects. Collage was a natural progression of "re-representaion". Picasso's art was radical in nature and because of this virtually no 20th-century artist could escape his influence. While other artists had a tendency to stay within the bounds of a style they had developed in their youth, Picasso was innovator right down to the last decade of his life (Encyclopdia Britannica, 2009).

Georges Braque was born May 13, 1882, Argenteuil, France and died August 31, 1963, in Paris. He was a French painter together with Pablo Picasso, developed Cubism. His paintings are primarily of still lifes having the characteristics of robust construction, low-key colour harmonies, and serene, meditative quality. Nearing the end of his life, Braque was honoured with exhibitions throughout the world, and in December of 1961 he became the very first living artist to have his works exhibited in the Louvre (Encyclopdia Britannica, 2009).

Types of collage

There are a number of different types of collage. However, they all employ the same core which is to glue or stick something to another.

Wood collage

This is a more recent format of collage. It consists of pieces of wood, wood shavings or any kind of wooden scrap that is attached to a wooden surface such as plywood (State University, 2010).

Collage in painting

This is the type of collage that employs the sticking of two dimensional artifacts to a painting. As a matter of fact this method initiated the modern era of collage. Pablo Picasso, invented the collage technique in 1912 with his "Still Life with Chair Caning". He pasted a patch of oilcloth with a chair-cane design to the canvas of a painting. Georges Braque was the first to use the concept of collage but he used it on drawings. This method is usually called etrcissement (State University, 2010).

Excavation collage

The layering of printed images, loosely attached at the corners. The artist would then tear away bits of the upper layer to reveal images from underneath, thereby introducing a new collage of images (State University, 2010).


Decoupage is a type of collage usually defined as a craft. Around the 12th century, the Chinese were creating paper cutouts to decorate gift boxes and other objects. It is thought to have come from Eastern Siberia and was used to decorate tombs (National Guild of Decoupeurs). Modern decoupage involves gluing cutouts to surfaces and three dimensional object as decoration.It is derived from the French word "decouper" meaning to cut out. Paper cutouts are made into a design then glued to an object with could painted or gilded. Another method can be where cutouts are applied under glass or alternatively raised to give a three-dimensional appearance..................newmaterial.

Traditionally it is a Term applied to a technique of making a pictorial composition from parts of different pictures. The modern understanding however, says that photomontage involves cutting out, arranging, and pasting pre-existing photographic images. Photomontage can be considered a creation of the Dadaists. Often they incorporated type and graphic symbols in the image, the elements being chosen for the meaning they convey rather than for their decorative qualities. Raoul Hausmann claimed to have invented photomontage in 1918, but there are others who were just as important. It is generally used in advertisement today (Chilvers, 1999).

Found object

This type of art uses the tenets of collage. Objects are found and mounted together for display. This can be considered as a three dimensional approach to collage. Generally it can be called an assemblage. Found things can be manmade or they can occur naturally.

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