1968/2008: The Culture of Collage
PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY is pleased to announce 1968/2008: The Culture of Collage, a group exhibition of collage and assemblage works from the year 1968 and from the present day.
1968 was a watershed year for the United States and for the world. It was a year dominated by the ravages of the Vietnam War, the Sexual Revolution, the Black Power movement, the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the election of Richard Nixon, and in the art world, the shooting of Andy Warhol. The international community witnessed the election of Communist leader Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia (the “Prague Spring”) and student protests throughout the city of Paris (“French May”). It was a year of “Beatlemania”, the musical Hair, and Johnny Cash at Folsum Prison. In the visual arts, the medium of collage loomed large, providing an ideal language with which to capture the rapidly changing face of culture and politics. The Pop Artists of the 1950s and their Dada/Surrealist predecessors opened the door for radical experimentation with materials, imagery and language throughout the 1960s.
Forty years later we find ourselves once again at war and on the verge of a history-defining national election. The first decade of the new century has witnessed enormous social, political, environmental and economic changes. Issues ranging from gay marriage, immigration, the continued spread of HIV/AIDS and global warming to the fall of the U.S. Dollar and the rise of terrorism have dominated the airwaves. In this climate of uncertainty, collage has once again emerged as a medium of choice for artists looking to capture the spirit of the times. It engages us with an immediacy that is distinct from other art forms. The artist confronts us with a vision of the world that is literally constructed from the physical context of his/her own experience. Fragments from mass culture function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are inextricably linked to the realities of daily life, the artist establishes an immediate identification, both real and imagined, between the viewer and the work.
Bringing together a diverse group of historical and new work, the current exhibition points to the myriad ways in which artists continue to explore social, political and cultural themes through the use of found objects and images. While much has changed in forty years, the impulse to construct and reconstruct an alternative vision of the world remains vital and ever changing.