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COLLAGE [Paper Collie] [Papier colle] An artistic composition consisting of or including flat materials pasted on a picture plane or surface. Also the technique of making such compositions. ASSEMBLAGES {Constructism} A work of art created by assembling materials, fitting together.

COLLAGE appears as an art form early in the 20th century [circa 1910-1914]. Although many may have contributed, the work of Braque and Picasso seem to offer the best documentation of the pioneering and development of COLLAGE< ASSEMBLAGE< and paper and metal sculpture. There are now several hundred books and articles regarding the seven-year union of these legendary innovators, and much has been written attempting to determine who did what first for the aesthetic stepping stone for the other.

It is more universally argued that Braque may have been first to introduce textures in painting [as he had been earlier apprenticed as a house decorator at a time when there was vast demand from the aspiring developing middle class to have ‘look a like’ textures of marble and other exclusives, in their homes and business places] also he may have been the first to use dirt and sand in his paintings, and he may have been the first to actually stick extraneous materials onto his paintings. This is documented by various researchers to claim that both were first. It is abundantly clear, however, that the more robust, and more prolific [more masculine]

Picasso was instrumental in utilizing and developing these and other creative phenomena. They are both known to acknowledge that without the other to bounce off in the creativity, it would never have evolved to the major aspect of personal and cultural importance that was acknowledged by 1914. [[The dialogue between Braque & Picasso endured through either meetings or letters from 1907 to 1914 and contributed to an enormously influential, shared vision of painting and composition at which neither artist would have arrived alone. Braque later described their relationship during these years as being akin to that of “two
mountaineers roped together”. He recalled, “We said things to each other that nobody will ever know and no one could ever understand.”]]

Both Braque & Picasso were pushing the envelope of traditional form and space as established by Masaccio [1401-1428 inventor of lineal perspective]. In the Analytical cubism both Picasso & Braque had invested a wide range of painterly technique, all the way to leaving blank raw canvas show. This invested an awareness of subtle color & texture, not allowable by classical standards, just 50 years before. Though similar to the extent that few observers can readily distinguish their individual works, a difference appears when the two painters are compared within the confines of analytical cubism, instead of within the context of painting in general.

The Picasso shifts and vibrates within its geometrical framework, the Braque is more static, more self contained; it is as if the multitude of planes in Picasso have expanded to the limits of the structure they compose, while those in the Braque have contracted until the forms are compressed and ordered into stability……. The interest in textures and the introduction of letters in imitation of printed ones is associated with experiments Braque made in collage. While the origin of collage, which is the making of pictures and compositions by pasting together bits of paper, clothe, or other materials, is not certain, like Cubism it seems to have appeared spontaneously from several sources at once, but Braque certainly had a great deal to do with its origin and he used it with particular felicity.

In the collage ‘Musical Forms”, Braque explores the use of texture of the unpainted canvas as an integral part of a composition that also uses other simulated textures. Here all the textures are real. A banjo like instrument cut from corrugated cardboard supplies the most unexpected one, but other areas are also papers of different textures.

Loosely edited, simplistic, plagiaristicly inclined, religiously attempted,

by John Cooper.

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