Room 2 in Materials and Objects

Collage

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Art in Collage

Mask XIV

© John Stezaker

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John Stezaker
Mask XIV
2006

This work follows a deceptively simple format: Stezaker covers an old publicity portrait of a film star with a postcard. The postcard becomes a mask over the face, but rather than just concealing, it opens a window into another space. This pair of images activates our innate tendency to interpret faces in patterns and imagery. The scene in the postcard could be seen to reflect the interior state of the figure. Alternatively, by replacing eyes with blankness or holes, it might be showing us death beneath the features of a living being.

Gallery label, January 2019

Mask XIII

© John Stezaker

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John Stezaker
Mask XIII
2006

This work follows a deceptively simple format: Stezaker covers an old publicity portrait of a film star with a postcard. The postcard becomes a mask over the face, but rather than just concealing, it opens a window into another space. This pair of images activates our innate tendency to interpret faces in patterns and imagery. The scene in the postcard could be seen to reflect the interior state of the figure. Alternatively, by replacing eyes with blankness or holes, it might be showing us death beneath the features of a living being.

Gallery label, January 2019

With a Smile

© The estate of Mimmo Rotella

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Mimmo Rotella
With a Smile
1962

In the early 1950s, Rotella began to rip posters away from the walls of outdoor hoardings in Rome, and used them to create elaborate collages. Many of these were film posters but he also used advertisements for appliances and other goods, so that his works became a commentary on the post-war consumer boom. In the studio he would mount the poster fragments onto canvas, rearranging the pieces into new compositions but also stripping away further layers to accentuate their distressed appearance.

Gallery label, March 2010

Emak Bakia

© Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2020

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Man Ray
Emak Bakia
1926, remade 1970

Emak Bakia is made from the neck of a cello and loose horse hair. Man Ray found the original cello piece in a fleamarket. As it looked old, he felt the urge to point humorously to its age and gave it flowing white hair – the horse hair that would be used in a bow. The hair gives the piece a disconcerting vitality. The title comes from an experimental film or ’cine-poem’ of the same name that Man Ray made in 1926. In the Basque language it means ’leave me alone’.

Gallery label, October 2016

The Tightrope Walker

© Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2020

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Joan Miró
The Tightrope Walker
1970

Miró often used discarded materials, some of them discovered in the foundry. His aim was to create what he called an ‘unlikely marriage of recognisable forms’. The body of the tightrope walker is made from a child's doll, cast into bronze. The base on which it rests is the cone through which the bronze was poured, while the nails originally held the mould together. The mottled and textured surface results from acid deposits left by the casting process. Each of these elements has an expressive role within the sculpture which, like much of Miró's work, combines humour with suggestions of violence.

Gallery label, July 2013

Untitled No. 34

© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

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Louise Nevelson
Untitled No. 34
1980

In the late 1950s, Nevelson began to make sculptures out of materials she found on the streets of New York City. She was inspired by items others had overlooked. She inserted these found objects into boxes she built into free-standing walls. The works shown here were made in the 1980s. By this time she was using material that had accumulated in her studio. Her process was instinctive: ‘I never … have pre-conceived ideas as to what I am going to do. Each piece is a complete and separate piece of creation.’

Gallery label, September 2019

Mild Terrors II

© reserved

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C. K. Rajan
Mild Terrors II
1991–6

In the series Mild Terrors II, Rajan overlays body parts and consumer goods onto Indian landscapes and city scenes. He made this series during a period of major social change in India. The 1990s saw the country’s economy opening up to the forces of globalisation. Different scales in the combined images suggest a tension between tradition and modernity. The title hints at the negative side of economic development, not always visible in the mainstream media.

Gallery label, January 2019

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John Stezaker
Mask XI
2005

This work follows a deceptively simple format: Stezaker covers an old publicity portrait of a film star with a postcard. The postcard becomes a mask over the face, but rather than just concealing, it opens a window into another space. This pair of images activates our innate tendency to interpret faces in patterns and imagery. The scene in the postcard could be seen to reflect the interior state of the figure. Alternatively, by replacing eyes with blankness or holes, it might be showing us death beneath the features of a living being.

Gallery label, January 2019

Mild Terrors II

© reserved

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C. K. Rajan
Mild Terrors II
1991–6

In the series Mild Terrors II, Rajan overlays body parts and consumer goods onto Indian landscapes and city scenes. He made this series during a period of major social change in India. The 1990s saw the country’s economy opening up to the forces of globalisation. Different scales in the combined images suggest a tension between tradition and modernity. The title hints at the negative side of economic development, not always visible in the mainstream media.

Gallery label, January 2019

Untitled No. 16

© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

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Louise Nevelson
Untitled No. 16
1983

In the late 1950s, Nevelson began to make sculptures out of materials she found on the streets of New York City. She was inspired by items others had overlooked. She inserted these found objects into boxes she built into free-standing walls. The works shown here were made in the 1980s. By this time she was using material that had accumulated in her studio. Her process was instinctive: ‘I never … have pre-conceived ideas as to what I am going to do. Each piece is a complete and separate piece of creation.’

Gallery label, September 2019

Mild Terrors II

© reserved

License this image

C. K. Rajan
Mild Terrors II
1991–6

In the series Mild Terrors II, Rajan overlays body parts and consumer goods onto Indian landscapes and city scenes. He made this series during a period of major social change in India. The 1990s saw the country’s economy opening up to the forces of globalisation. Different scales in the combined images suggest a tension between tradition and modernity. The title hints at the negative side of economic development, not always visible in the mainstream media.

Gallery label, January 2019

Mild Terrors II

© reserved

License this image

C. K. Rajan
Mild Terrors II
1991–6

In the series Mild Terrors II, Rajan overlays body parts and consumer goods onto Indian landscapes and city scenes. He made this series during a period of major social change in India. The 1990s saw the country’s economy opening up to the forces of globalisation. Different scales in the combined images suggest a tension between tradition and modernity. The title hints at the negative side of economic development, not always visible in the mainstream media.

Gallery label, January 2019

Art in this room

Mask XIV
John Stezaker Mask XIV 2006
Mask XIII
John Stezaker Mask XIII 2006
With a Smile
Mimmo Rotella With a Smile 1962
Emak Bakia
Man Ray Emak Bakia 1926, remade 1970
The Tightrope Walker
Joan Miró The Tightrope Walker 1970
Untitled No. 34
Louise Nevelson Untitled No. 34 1980

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