"...the principle of collage is the central principle of all art in the 20th century." -- Donald Barthelme (1931-1989)

''l'art pour l'art.'' -- Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (1767–1830) also attributed to Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

Reviews of Collage Exhibitions:

Galerie Leonardo, 62 Rue d'Hautpoul, Paris, France
March 5th – May 30th 2009


Galerie Leonardo, Paris
March 5th - May 30th, 2009

Take the orange line of the metro out of central Paris to the Ourcq station and you’ll find yourself three blocks from the Galerie Leonardo on rue d’Hautpoul, which recently hosted a truly international exhibit of impressive collages. Nine established artists hailing from Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Germany, The United States, and of course, France, contributed works to the exhibit. In a city known for its numerous and expansive museums of art, the one-room Galerie Leonardo is small – but the art in this exhibit was “large”. And the neighborhood surrounding the Ourcq station was part of the charm in that it was a somewhat more realistic contrast to the manicured and tourist-driven center of the City of Lights.

The collages in this exhibit represented a wide range of styles and a variety of compositional elements. Siemons (France) used saturated colors and clean lines to create works such as “Musique a Evian” with clever allusions to musical whimsy. The work of Vore (Germany) explored variations of free-formed trichromatic white, gray and umber pieces to create Arp-like collages. Interesting works by Parragio (France) incorporated human anatomical elements in combination with other natural images to invite viewers to investigate each piece in more detail. An interesting addition to the more tradition collage work was Netcheva’s (Bulgaria) collection of somewhat Calderesque wall-hangings with allusions to insects and music. One of this reviewer’s favorite works was Varet’s (France) “En amour, pas de reprise” which skillfully superimposed images of colorful condoms within a scene from a 17th Century painting. Talbot’s signature “patrins” (American) integrated textual elements with clean geometric shapes and hints of red in a sea of ochre and sienna, cleanly presented in square framing. Modi (Italian) created fantastical worlds with inclusions of decorative interiors, natural outdoor elements and galactic horizons suggestive of strange narratives.In works which integrated collage with assemblage, Athouel (France) used book covers, keys, among other objects to encourage the viewer to explore the myriad possibilities for connection and meaning within the pieces. Rounding out this impressive exhibit was the work of Rodriguez de Rivera (Spain), which consisted of multiple, repeated images with almost imperceptible minute manipulations pieced together with painstaking precision. Once the viewer sees one of the manipulations, the remainder start to appear almost magically. The works presented in this exhibit were exhilarating as they represent the great contemporary collage artistry being created around the world.

- Steven Specht, 6.12.09 (with notebook at the Galerie Leonardo)


This page is located at www.collageart.org/reviews/paris09.htm
Last Update: June 20, 2012
For further information contact Jonathan Talbot at jonathan@talbot1.com