20 January - 28 March 2014
Lost & Found presents a survey of recent collage by a wide range of contemporary artists. Although the works collected in the exhibition vary hugely both in intent and appearance, they share a commonality of purpose: the use of diverse and found objects and imagery as a departure point for invention. In presenting works dating from the late eighties through to the present day, the show raises questions not only about the evolution of an art form that traces its roots to Schwitters and Braque, but also the continued relevance of a scrapbook aesthetic in the age of digital photography and social media.
Works by Kelley Walker and Barbara Kruger use provocative and iconoclastic imagery in order to provoke the viewer, whereas artists like Amalia Pica and Anton Zolotov incorporate found objects into their work encouraging reconsideration of repurposed artefacts. Klara Lidén’s poster work displays, in composite, the remnants of advertising posters from the streets of Stockholm. Though their blank facades reveal no message, the stacked, almost sculptural nature of the works is representative – and reminiscent – of the imagery with which we are daily bombarded. Ida Eckblad’s sculpture, in turn, looms in the gallery, its composite parts bare and skeletal. In Transgrid Feminique 1 by Sterling Ruby the artist displays his interest in transgender politics, displaying, within a lurid grid, the rigorous regimen of medication needed to undergo this radical transformation.
The works brought together for this exhibition show dramatically different approaches to collage. Each artwork, however, demonstrates a rigorous and detailed attention to the medium – some even pushing the word to the limits of its definition. But in a world in which identities – both corporate and personal – are formed on Tumblr and Instagram, the carefully considered works in Lost & Found show that there has never been a more important time for deliberate and critical interpretation of the world around us.