LEVERKUSEN.- The collage is based upon a productive unification of contrasts. Art and the everyday world collide forcefully here and generate a poetry of contradiction. By virtue of the strategy of the systematic exploitation of the randomly or artistically provoked encounter of two or more alien realities (Max Ernst), the collage became the experimental medium of the avant garde. Commencing with the very first pasted paper compositions (papiers collés), the concept of collage was broadened, particularly in the context of the Cubism, in the direction of object art and sculpture. Since then, collage not only denotes techniques of pasting, tearing or cutting, but also a fundamental compositional principle, a way of thinking and working. Cuts and ruptures equally question the traditional concept of a picture as well as its origins, properties and the import of the components used.
Contemporary extensions of the classical collage concept show themselves to be peregrinations amid pictorial genres and media, painting and sculpture, modern abstraction and postmodern material references. The participating artists combine and confront found or manufactured things. They superimpose and transform them, place them in a polyvalent dialogue with one another and with the surrounding space. Contrary to the early idea of the collage as game board upon which individual elements are randomly thrown together, the collages presented here have been moderated in a more deliberate manner. They open up a variety of formal and thematic, as well as stylistic references. The spectrum of the diverse artistic positions represented in the exhibition attests to the adaptability and topicality of the collage.
A catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be published by the Kerber Verlag with a foreword by Markus Heinzelmann and essays by Fritz Emslander and Vanessa Joan Müller (104 pages, approx. 100 colour illustrations; 25 from the Museum ticket desk, approx. 35 from bookstores).