The following is a brief excerpt from an excellent interview of the collage artist, Cecil Touchon, by Paris-based artist and curator, Matthew Rose. The full text of the interview can be read online at http://cecil.touchon.com/interview-matthewrose.html
Matthew Rose: Collage has a long and rich history in Modern Art, beginning formally with Picasso’s and Braque’s experimental canvases in the early 20th century, cutting newspapers and wall papers and adding them to their canvases. The effects were to inject a sense of found realism into their tableaux and change forever the illusion of the picture plane. Since then, of course, collage has become a dominate form of artistic production. Schwitters most well known works are collage pieces; the Dadaists brought collage into a new world not only with physical art works but with performances in a kind of audio and perceptual collage. Painting, as a result of all this early 20th century activity was forced to change, and one might say that all painting now is influenced by collage.
As an artist who has long worked the medium of collage in both cut paper and paint, how do you assess the state of the art of collage?
Cecil Touchon: I would have to say that the state of the art just now is very much alive and the number of artists working in the medium is growing. My efforts to understand and advance this constructive medium have, aside from my own art making, been in the area of developing an online community of collage artists around a central hub which is the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction (collagemuseum.com) that I founded in 1998.
The museum began as an online virtual museum and then, through various projects, has developed into a significant archive of actual collage and assemblage art. The collection numbers in the thousands of actual works. My intention has been to create a focal point for collage art. I hope to draw artists together working in this medium so that we might all know each other’s work. Communicating together as colleagues, we discuss issues related to collage such as its history, techniques, materials, copyright and archival issues. We also share information about artists currently working in collage. I also wish as to inspire and promote exhibitions. Through this continuous banter it is possible to get a sense of what everyone is thinking about and what ideas are circulating…
I have excerpted only the very beginning of the interview. The full interview includes images, illustrations, and photographs, in addition to an exceptionally thoughful commentary on contemporary collage.