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Collage By Child, Danielle

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM163-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 22 June 2024, from


Collage is an artistic technique first used in the 20th century in which paper, photographs, fabric, and other items are glued onto paper or canvas. Collage was central to the development of Cubism and, in particular, to the work of Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Braque is said to have invented papier collé, a specific form of collage where paper strips and fragments are pasted onto the drawing or painting. In 1912, the two artists began to introduce paper, cigarette packets, newspapers, and other items associated with everyday life into their canvases; Braque stated that he introduced these items into his work for their ‘‘materiality.’’ Picasso wrote that ‘‘the purpose of papier collé was to give the idea that different textures can enter into a composition to become reality in the painting that competes with reality in nature.’’ For example, the artist would introduce paper that represented wood panelling for an image of a guitar. This countered the trompe l’oeil effects of painting, with Picasso proposing that the object created by collage was a ‘‘displaced object’’ that reflected their ‘‘strange’’ world. It can be argued that these fragments reflected the fragmentation of the modern world under capitalism, and closely aligns to the montage technique found in modernist mediums including writing, such as that of Walter Benjamin, the photography of artists such as Hannah Höch, and work of filmmakers such as Dziga Vertov.

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Child, Danielle. Collage. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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