Collage Materials: Jim Hodges

A close-up of Jim Hodges’ ‘Every Touch’, a breathtaking curtain of hundreds of artificial flowers meticulously sewn together.on view in “Secret Garden”, Perelman Building

Jim Hodges, “Every Touch,” (detail) 1995

Jim Hodges does a lot with flowers.  Also mirrors, granite, scarves, and, oh yeah, paper.  The results are magical and exhilarating. Also fragile and sorrowful. In many of his works, a collage aesthetic is at play.

'Untitled' (2000) by Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges, Untitled, 2000. Acrylic on newspaper, 56 x 68.6 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Artlicks via Another Mag.

Paper was the first material that fascinated him. He talked about it during his 2009 exhibition Love, Etc. at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in an interview with Christophe Ecoffet.  Hodges liked “the flexibility of paper, how paper can tear, and be unfolded and folded.”  In one work, he collaged hearts cut from painted newspaper.

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Your brain…your brain on collage

Collage can be a metaphor for consciousness. After all, the mind is like a collage. Ephemera, glued together by an invisible Artist.  The result in patterns may or might not make sense.

Some minds might be like a collage by the painter Elliott Puckette.

Elliott Puckette, “Untitled,” 2005 (Courtesy the Artist & Paul Kasmin Gallery)

Others might be like a work by Raven Schlossberg:

Raven Schlossberg, “Belvedere Arms,” 2002 (Private collection, New York
g-module, Paris )

Still others might resemble the minds of Thomas Hirschhorn and Felipe Oliveira Baptista:   you never know what they’ll look like.

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The Story That Isn’t There

Procession in Colonized Territory

Elektra KB, “Procession in Colonized Territory” from
“The Theocratic Republic of Gaia Book I”
2013, mixed media on paper, 19.5 x 12 x 2 inches
(Courtesy BravinLee Programs

Women guerrillas in veils and petticoats.   A female rebel army taking arms against a police state.  In photo ops they pose aiming machine guns and chainsaws.       Their weapons, however, shoot only rays of light.

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Cars, Quilts, & Fashion with Photo Transfers

Melic Meeting (Spread), 1979
Mixed media including solvent transfer on fabric collage, and mirror

Robert Rauschenberg was a pioneer in collage,  but he didn’t do fashion.   Well, unless you consider putting a tire around  a stuffed goat as accessorization.

He did owe some of his collage sensibility to his mother, who was a professional seamstress.  Cutting out paper patterns was something Rauschenberg did from boyhood.

His collage breakthroughs in the 1950’s incorporated photo transfer processes that put mass media into art in a new way. And in recent years, his imagery has had its impact on fashion and fabric.

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Crazy & Wackers

IsaGenzken sculpture 1

Isa Genzken “Bouquet” 2004
plastic, wood, lacquer, mirror foil, glass

“A kind of artistic bag lady.” That’s how one French critic described sculptor Isa Genzken.    Her “bricollage of   materials and manners, idioms and styles creates a willful and bewildering confusion.”

An English critic went further.  He saw the artist’s work in the context of what he calls “the one insurmountable fact” about her, “that Genzken suffers from prolonged periods of mental ill-health.”


Isa Genzken, “Abendmahl (Last Supper),” 2008
Aluminum plate, mirror foil, spray-paint, tape, color print on paper

What?  An artist making work whose meaning you can’t “always grasp”?  She must be nuts!    Whatever Genzken’s difficulties, the “ungraspable” quality of an artwork hardly qualifies as a reason to get out the butterfly nets.

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