September 22, 2016
Two of the collage artists I admire most– Romare Bearden and Henri Matisse – created collage with painted papers.
The image above shows the French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) sitting in a wheelchair in his studio in Nice, France (1952). He had recovered from cancer surgery. Notice there are a lot of cut papers on the floor. Following his surgery, Matisse discovered his genius for collage. He called it his second life, and he is world-famous for collage. Studio assistants painted white papers for Matisse with Linel gouache, a water-based paint. The colors are gorgeous. See more images here.
We painted papers as a warm-up for the collage class I teach at the Pelham Art Center. The image above is a beautiful mix of blue and hot pink acrylic paint – painted on a page torn out of ARTForum magazine. Can you notice there is text below the paint? It was applied so you can see some of the magazine paper below.
I tell the class I do the same warm up exercise when I arrive at my studio. It gets me into a creative groove. It’s also a lot of fun to do. See my video online at my website – Painting Papers with Nancy Egol Nikkal. Email me and ask for a free PDF step-by-step outline to make a portrait collage with painted papers.
The image above is a beautiful mix of blue, pink and orange paints, done by a student in class. It shows an etched, swirling pattern, created with a palette knife while the paint was wet.
When we paint papers in class, I set out coated paper plates with acrylic paints and a little acrylic medium to thin the paints for each student. I demonstrate how to use a plastic palette knife to mix the paints, move colors around, and spread the wet paint onto the magazine paper. I encourage everyone to allow some of the magazine paper to show through the paint.
All my collages include painted papers, torn from contemporary art magazine pages like ARTForum and ART News. FYI: I do read the magazine articles. I do tear out pages that are perfect for collage and then I tear out more pagers to paint. There are always enough pages.
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD PAINT PAPERS:
It’s eco-friendly – it’s recycling magazines
It’s economical because magazines have so many pages
The process is quick and easy and you can create a lot of papers in a short time
Painted papers are very arty when you allow some image to show through
The different ways you apply paint shows personality, style and creativity
You can create layers, pattern and texture
You can create papers in all the colors you want
Painted papers are strong and easier to work with in collage
Painted papers are washable and durable
Painted papers can be repainted and you can create a new palette of colors
Two more reasons: Painted papers are beautiful and become a personal statement in every collage you make.
The image above is a painted gouache cutout titled Blue Nude II (1952). Notice it’s all blue painted papers. It was included in the exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (Oct 22, 2014-Feb 10, 2015). I visited the MoMA exhibit 3 times. There were more than 100 cut-outs, as well as a video that showed Matisse cutting painted papers with a long scissor while an assistant held the paper as he cut. Read about the exhibition here:
Thank you for your comments below. Tell me if you saw the MoMA exhibit Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. Were you amazed at his collage technique and the colors in his painted papers? I was/am.
Link here to my post Painting Papers for Collage (October 2012) with images and more about Henri Matisse. He said he painted with scissors. He called his works gouache decoupes.
For fun: Ask me why I paint papers from contemporary art magazines. If you like, email me to get a free PDF with a step by step outline to make a portrait collage with painted papers (inspired by a famous contemporary artist).
January 24, 2012
A friend recently asked – Have you seen any good art shows recently?
I remember she was really asking if I had seen the exhibition Willem de Kooning: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art – MoMA (September 8, 2011 – January 9, 2012).
Yes, I saw the de Kooning show. I love the way he painted – and the works are so strong and still looks so fresh!
The two images above are my favorites. The top image is titled “Painting.” It’s oil and enamel on canvas (1948) 42 x 56 inches. The 2nd image is titled “Woman I” – it’s oil on canvas (1950-52) 75 x 58 inches. Both images: the Internet.
If you didn’t see the exhibition, visit the MoMA website which reviews de Kooning’s major themes, includes a timeline with images, and information on the artist’s methods and materials.
I enjoyed reading the NY Times art review by Holland Cotter (Sept. 15, 2011).
Cotter talked about de Kooning’s third “Woman” series as outrageous busty Gorgons with equine grins that caused fits when first exhibited.
Those are the ones I love. I went to the show to see de Kooning’s busty Gorgons – and the lush black and white abstractions.
DE KOONING AT ABMB
I checked the Internet and found a terrific art blog that talked about de Kooning at MoMA and recaps ABMB.
It opens with a rave review of the de Kooning retrospective (also saying it was easier to get into ABMB than get into MoMA to see the de Kooning show).
There’s an image right away of de Kooning’s Marilyn (Marilyn Monroe) titled “Woman” (1964), 24×18 inches, charcoal and pencil on paper, seen below. Image: the Internet.
Right next to de Kooning’s Marilyn are 2 Vic Munoz Marilyns (Munoz was one of many artists inspired by de Kooning).
A little further into the blog is a large, late de Kooning seen at ABMB: “Untitled XII,” oil on canvas (1985), 80×70 inches. Image: the Internet.
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY GOOD ART RECENTLY?
Back to the question I was asked – have you seen any good art shows recently?
It took a few seconds for me to reply – YES – I saw the best art show ever at ABMB in December 2011.
Every gallery was out to impress.
There was so much art to see that my eyes hurt by the end of the day.
I loved the ingenious installations, the glitz and the panorama.
I got to see a lot of great collage.
Almost immediately, I came face to face with a large Mark Bradford collage, titled “A Thousand Words.”
The image above is the collage, seen in NYC at the Sikkema Jenkins Gallery. The image shows it’s scale.
Here’s a link to a great video-rich website starring Mark Bradford, organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts. Check it out. It’s cutting edge.
Read my blog about Mark Bradford, written March 11, 2011.
The image above is me in front of a wall of collages. Each work was a mini masterpiece. Image: Mary Hunter.
I found enough collage to make me happy, including collage on sculpture. I took the image below.
TOP PLAYERS ARE THERE
I walked inside an installation by Theaster Gates – titled Glass Pavilion – and found myself looking up at glass lantern slides. I spoke with Kavi Gupta; The Kavi Gupta Gallery represents Gates (Chicago and Berlin). See more images at the gallery website…
There is a lot of buzz about Theaster Gates.
Read an article titled Theaster Gates in the Studio with Lilly Wei (Art in America, December 2011).
Lilly Wei is a New York-based writer and independent curator.
Thanks for reading and your comments.