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Art

Vegetation and Hybrid Figures Entwine in Winnie Truong’s Mythical Collaged Drawings

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Mothercraft” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches. All images © Winnie Truong, courtesy of VIVIANEART, shared with permission

Canadian artist Winnie Truong recontextualizes the sleek, piecey qualities of human hair in her cut-paper collages. Constructed in layers within rectangular frames, the surreal works utilize the soft texture to depict flowers, vegetation, and strange anthropomorphic figures with elongated fingers and faces obscured by body parts or surroundings. Each piece is rooted in Truong’s drawing practice, and the colored pencil renderings add depth to the mythical compositions.

An extension of her two-dimensional works, these dioramas similarly explore the connection between women and nature. Many of the hybrid figures are entangled with foliage and their own anatomies, positioning traditional understandings of beauty alongside disorienting and more fantastic forms.

Visit Truong’s Instagram for more of her recent works and a glimpse into her process.

 

“Yellow Wallpaper and Scarlet Vipers” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Lilies in the Bog” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Twin Letdown” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 18 inches

“Eyes at Dusk” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 20 inches

“Distal Edges” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel

“Gentle Snares” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

 

 

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Art

Daily Newspapers by Myriam Dion Unfold into Meticulously Woven Narratives

June 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Des collines arborées sont ravagées par le Dixie Fire en Californie, Le Monde, 28 août 2021” (2021), collage of newspaper and Japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, paper folding, drawing, gold leaf, 41 x 26 inches. All images © Myriam Dion, shared with permission

Thin, interlaced strips of Japanese paper, gold leaf, and the occasional watercolor detail extend the life of a broadsheet when in the care of French-Canadian artist Myriam Dion (previously). Through slicing, weaving, and gluing, the daily publications find new meaning and relevance as the artist overlays their pages with intricate lace patterns. These precise motifs obscure much of the text, leaving only a prominent headline or single image entirely visible. Painstakingly constructed, Dion’s works question the notion that news is inherently fast-paced and fleeting and instead, offer visual depth, dimension, and intricacy that mirrors the nuance of the stories she highlights.

Using pages from Le Monde, The New York Times, and other organizations, Dion draws on both historical and current events in her most recent pieces. A winding, pleated form responds to the unyielding destruction of the Dixie Fire in California with cuts evocative of flames emerging from its folds. Another accordion-style piece commemorates the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, with black-and-white photos of the justice trimmed in gold.

“The revaluation of the handmade and the contemporary dimension of the craftsman are intrinsic to my approach,” the Montréal-based artist tells Colossal, likening her process to cultivating flowers or a vegetable patch. “There are many parallels to be drawn between gardens and my practice, especially in regards to contemplation, mediation, temporality, and the idea of beauty.”

Dion’s solo show Material Knowledge, which runs from June 30 to August 13 at Arsenal Contemporary in New York, will include a new work featuring a 1929 article announcing MoMA’s opening paired with references to women textile artists and crafters. She’s also preparing for an exhibition at Blouin-Division that will expand on the gardening metaphor and emerge from vintage botanical books. Until then, follow her latest projects, which will include a few upcoming public works, on Instagram.

 

Detail of “Amerian Museum, New cases of rare and curious birds, New-York Spectator, Wednesday October 22, 1810,” (2021) collage of newspaper and Japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, drawing, watercolor, and gold leaf, 23 x 20 inches

“Mrs. Isabella Goodwin, The First Woman To Be Appointed To New York Detective Force, Wednesday August 23, 1911” (2021), newspaper glued on Japanese paper and cut with a precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving and gold leaf, 33 x 34 inches

“Amerian Museum, New cases of rare and curious birds, New-York Spectator, Wednesday October 22, 1810,” (2021) collage of newspaper and Japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, drawing, watercolor and gold leaf, 23 x 20 inches

“Trees burning in Kirkwood, California, Thursday September 2, 2021,The New York Times” (2021), collage of newspaper and japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, paper folding, drawing, gold leaf, 47 x 35 inches

“Mrs. Isabella Goodwin, The First Woman To Be Appointed To New York Detective Force, Wednesday August 23, 1911” (2021), newspaper glued on Japanese paper and cut with a precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving and gold leaf, 33 x 34 inches

Detail of “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New York, Tuesday June 15, 1993” (2021), newspaper glued on Japanese paper and cut with a precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving and gold leaf, 17′ x 17 inches

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New York, Tuesday June 15, 1993” (2021), newspaper glued on Japanese paper and cut with a precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving and gold leaf, 17′ x 17 inches

Detail of “Des collines arborées sont ravagées par le Dixie Fire en Californie, Le Monde, 28 août 2021” (2021), collage of newspaper and Japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, paper folding, drawing, gold leaf, 41 x 26 inches

“Des biches errent parmi les véhicules détruits par le Dixie Fire en Californie, Le Monde, 28 août 2021” (2021), collage of newspaper and Japanese paper cut with precision knife (x-acto), paper weaving, drawing, gold leaf, 32 x 30 inches

 

 



Art

Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Evoke Strength and Vulnerability in Christine Kim’s Elegant Collages

June 2, 2022

Kate Mothes

“By Heart” (2022). All images © Christine Kim, shared with permission

In intricately cut collages by Ontario-based artist Christine Kim, flowers, foliage, and crown-like adornments encompass anonymous portraits. Painted floral motifs on carefully torn pieces of paper paired with slats of wood appear like lath exposed beneath ornate wallpaper, providing a backdrop for the elegant silhouettes. The elaborate designs of the figures’ headdresses suggest wrought iron with delicate strands of plants or ribbon partially obscuring their faces. In her series Paper Thin, Kim explores myriad techniques for working with the ubiquitous material.

Inspired to examine relationships between surface, pattern, and volume, she portrays how the medium can be both fragile and solid, rigid yet flexible. She describes in a statement that the series evokes “dualities of strength and vulnerability, as stark black fences crown the regal female figures, but these barriers are, in the end, only paper-thin.”

Kim’s work is currently on view at Galerie Youn in Montréal as part of the group exhibition YOUNIVERSE until July 3. You can find more of her work on her website and on Instagram.

 

“Yesterday’s Thoughts” (2022).

“Stories We Tell” (2022)

“At Least” (2022)

“In Good Faith” (2022)

“Boundaries of Ours” (2022)

 

 



Art

Chimerical Creatures Combine Feathers and Fur in Isabel Reitemeyer’s Uncanny Collages

May 31, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Isabel Reitemeyer, shared with permission

Berlin-based artist Isabel Reitemeyer is known for making uncanny collages that splice images of animals and bodies into humorously enigmatic compositions. In her recent series, songbirds with guinea pig heads perch on twigs, horses with enormous bunny ears stand in fields, and a retriever looks out at us from the body of a chicken. The assemblages, which are often small in scale and made from found photographs and cutouts, are deftly aligned so that the outlines of the animals fit together seamlessly.

A bunny’s beady eye or the slight cock of a terrier’s head gives personality to each chimerical creature, as if self-aware of its unusual predicament. Reitemeyer taps into the ways we anthropomorphize our pets and other animals, reading into their expressions and feelings as if they were our own, resulting in sly and unusual personalities.

You can find more of Reitemeyer’s collages on her website and on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation History Music

A Short Film Collages Chicago’s Past and Present in a Profound Look at the City’s History of Activism

April 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

A palimpsest of history, politics, and art, a short film by Lisbon-based director João Pombeiro is an ode to the Midwest’s largest city and its people. “Chicago” travels across time periods and neighborhoods in a poetic collage of community and culture: cutout photographs of children sit in front of reconstructed streetscapes, animated snippets depict cars from today and decades earlier driving next to each other, and the El runs through the background.

Created as a music video for Lance Skiiiwalker, the layered imagery mirrors the composition, which infuses audio clips from civil rights-era speeches, police sirens, and news broadcasts into Skiiwalker’s otherwise soft, jazzy track. Opening on the South Side and traveling downtown, “Chicago” is a profound, nostalgic consideration of the activism, pride, and compassion that have shaped the city.

Pombeiro frequently works in this style that melds analog and digital, and you can watch more of his films on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

Cleverly Collaged Portraits Layer Vintage Ads and Magazine Spreads into Dramatic Daydreams

November 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Did You Ever Really Love Me.” All images © Shane Wheatcroft, shared with permission

With a flair for spectacle and clandestine activities, the perfectly coiffed characters of Shane Wheatcroft’s collages face a deluge of intrigue and drama. The Kent-based artist snips vintage ads and editorial spreads that become the musings of professionally photographed subjects: a woman replays an excruciating party scene, a businessman envisions a wholesome family gathering, and quite a few protagonists imagine scenarios they likely keep covert.

Having worked with the medium for the last five years, Wheatcroft boasts a body of work that includes a broad array of collages, from bold typographic sayings to cheeky compositions that use ad slogans and outmoded headlines to poke fun at social conventions. Surreal and witty, the new portraits feature imagery from periodicals published between 1945 and 1975. They’re spurred by “being a big fan of John Stezaker and buying old movie annuals that had stunning publicity shots of film stars on plain backgrounds. The recent series I’m making is really my attempt to reflect everyday dramas and scenarios through the medium of collage,” he says.  “They’re kind of like a hybrid of Dalí’s portrait of Mae West and Coronation Street.”

The main portrait sets the tone for the piece, Wheatcroft tells Colossal, with the background image, furniture, and figures pasted on top. These additional elements compose an abstract representation of a face and generally feature a single eye peering through a television set or frame on the wall. “I’ll often have a song or personal experience in my head that’ll become the theme of the piece,” the artist says. “I can spend hours searching for an image of the right-sized chair or person that will fit. It’s a bit like making a jigsaw puzzle and hunting for the missing pieces.”

Represented by Lilford Gallery in Canterbury, Wheatcroft has been sharing a variety of flat collages and 3D diorama-style pieces—see these layered works up close on Instagram—and he also has a few pieces available for purchase on Artfinder. (via Kottke)

 

“Tough Room”

Left: “Parents Outgrown.” Right: “The Merry Widow”

“You Are My Sunshine”

“RGB”

Left: “Private Eye.” Right: “Notice Me”

“The Gables”