Collage is a consistent artistic technique that serves to glue different types of elements on some support, most of the time they are paper, fabric or wood. In this way it is possible to achieve different types of texture, shapes, colors, etc.
The term collage has its origins in the French verb coller as “collage” and appeared in the Spanish language as “collaje” for the first time in its 1989 edition of DRAE.
cubism and collage
The first traces of this technique carried out in artistic works date back to Medieval Japan, but it was in the 20th century that collage would expand throughout Europe and the Western world thanks to the impulse of cubist painters
Collage as it is known today is a completely Cubist invention. For history, it is considered an invention from 1911, in which George Braque began to incorporate his paintings in various inscriptions and typographic characters. This phenomenon became a revolutionary discovery for modern art and it took only a few weeks to be known by other closer painters, among whom stood out none other than Pablo Picasso. The Madrilenian was enthusiastic about the new technique and immediately started putting it into practice, as he saw the collage as a perfect vehicle to record his ideas.
A short time later, in 1914, it would be another Spaniard, also Cubist Juan Gris, who would accompany the wave of Braque and Picasso with this form of artistic expression .
However, Juan Gris’s collages had a greater evolution in relation to the previous ones
While its predecessors were limited to cutting paper through traditional shapes such as squares, rectangles or diamonds; Gris applied a class of fragments to his paintings creating an amazing and complex puzzle game that highlighted the arrangement of the drawings in the form of saw teeth.
Anyway, the artists who best knew how to take advantage of the artistic possibilities of collage were the Dadaists. The geometric distribution collages made by Shwitters and Arp are so rich that they never equaled them again. In fact, Schwitters’ Merzbilder and Merzban are at the very top of the Dada movement , including cold humor and absolute contempt in everything that can be considered commonplace, establishing an indispensable reference for all artists who came later and included collage as an artistic expression .