A photomontage is a collage constructed from photographs

1 of 3
  • Raoul Hausmann, 'The Art Critic' 1919-20
    Raoul Hausmann
    The Art Critic 1919-20
    Lithograph and photographic collage on paper
    support: 318 x 254 mm
    Purchased 1974© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002
  • Kurt Schwitters, 'The Proposal' 1942
    Kurt Schwitters
    The Proposal 1942
    Collage of photographic reproduction and magazine image
    support: 319 x 395 mm
    Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to Tate 2007© DACS, 2002
  • Peter Kennard, 'The Kissinger Mind' 1979
    Peter Kennard
    The Kissinger Mind 1979
    Photomontage, black marker pen on paper
    365 x 310 mm
    Purchased from the artist 2007© Peter Kennard

Photomontage is often used as a means of expressing political dissent.

It was first used as a technique by the dadaists in 1915 in their protests against the First World War. It was later adopted by the surrealists who exploited the possibilities photomontage offered by using free association to bring together widely disparate images, to reflect the workings of the unconscious mind.

In 1923 the Russian constructivist Aleksander Rodchenko began experimenting with photomontage as a way of creating striking socially engaged imagery concerned with the placement and movement of objects in space.

Other key exponents of the medium are John Heartfield, the German artist who reconstructed images from the media to protest against Germany’s Fascist regime and Peter Kennard; whose photomontages explored issues such as economic inequality, police brutality and the nuclear arms race between the 1970s and the 1990s.