Cutting edge: contemporary collage

Célio Braga

contemporary collage now - Celio Braga

Brazilian artist Célio Braga's delicate reflections on "the fragility of the human body in relation to the passing of time" treat materials almost as if they were corporeal - slicing, grafting and layering paper, textiles and photographs into frequently flesh-coloured form.

Through a "constant process of cutting, perforating, rearranging, assembling, scanning, destroying" as well as "mending", Braga's quasi-surgical interventions investigate and emulate the inevitable physical processes of ageing while hinting, too, at more metaphorical trauma; the scars and lesions of emotional experience.

new contemporary collage

new contemporary collage


Mark Bradford

contemporary collage now - Mark Bradford

Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford's well-known collage works use printed ephemera to create abstract-seeming compositions that often resemble mapped cities.

The likeness is not coincidental: Bradford's materials, such as advertisements, stickers and pasted posters, are gathered from LA neighbourhoods then reassembled, burnished, scraped and sanded to create mesmerising, large-scale wall works (detail, below left).

Mark Bradford

While painterly in appearance, each piece retains traces of the "information in the city" from which it originates.

Bradford's process is thus cyclical as well as transformative: incorporating records of popular culture which are then layered and eroded in a studio rather than on the streets themselves, his collages become 'high art' exhibited on gallery walls.

"... Tracing the ghost of cities past", Bradford's practice is as much about innate documentation as the pure abstractions he appears to emulate.

Mark Bradford

next: Liu Shi Tung and works by various artists

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