Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspiration: Collage by Erró

On my recent trip to Iceland, i got the chance to go to the Iceland Art Museum. It was very small, i'm talking one exhibit in one room, but it was a collage exhibit which i was happy to check out! As someone who is not very adept at collage, i really appreciate a job well done and always love the worked juxtapositions.

The collage artist featured was in fact an Iceland native, with much of the work in the permanent collection of the museum. All in all, about 130 collages by Erró. Iceland's answer to Romare Bearden? Not quite. Working from the 1950's onward, Erró's collages were heavily influenced by pop art and culture, from magazine ads, to comic books. These were the most interesting to me at least - they led to outlandish compositions that in his earliest experiments, themselves almost became abstraction.
The later pieces were much more composed with strict grids or much tighter compositions.
These later works incorporated comic book imagery, other painters work with other media imagery with a much brighter color pallette and visual impact. They are busy to the point of horror vacui, with the entire canvas covered in visual representations from fruit, to scientists to the Fantastic Four. They loose some of their creepy reflection of contemporary media from the earlier works and became a symphony of references where a Léger next to The Thing, somehow visually makes sense.