Indexing artistic responses to the weight of cumulative history and cultural givens, the “Imprint” collage exhibition is the first of a new series at SomoS charting innovations in this technique. It presents international artists who explore new dimensions and expand the medium’s possibilities and associations.
“Imprint” presents the work of two young collage artists, David Woodward (Canada) and SomoS Summer 2015 “Artist in Residence” Ingrid Bittar (Brazil). The presentation traces how the artist’s inventive use of heritage and history, nostalgia and retromania allow for very current and relevant work.
Apart from sharing formal similarities and a joint interest in employing crafting techniques, both artists also unites an unique ability to make subversive and imaginative use of impersonal public historic and vintage imagery to create very personal and intimate narratives.
History and heritage and the givens of this world may press their imprint on us, but it is within our options -especially in an era marked by Retromania and Ghostisms- to press back, wipe or change their impression. And while we are used to attempts at “talking back” by digital means, “Imprint” aims to show that also analog can talk back just as articulate.
The young Canadian artist David Woodward works in installation, drawing and collage. His collage work extends the received collective consciousness of our dictionary of life with queer interventions and conceptual re-imaginings. Woodward uses public vintage source material for a very contemporary and personal discourse. Indexing the found imagery that illustrate and symbolize the givens of this world, Woodward adds his own objects of importance to this collage mix, completing and subverting official narratives with personal, poetic and sly recombinations. Woodward’s more recent collage work makes a shift towards more formal, metaphysical compositions.
Woodward’s collage work seeks, his own words, “to propose new combinations of categorization, relationship and unity. Appropriated from their empirical or voyeuristic classifications, the Utopian cutouts question the limitations of human-made systems of labelling and division.”
Natalia Masewicz (Blouin Art Info) wrote: “His works echo Surrealistic compositions of René Magritte and Salvador Dali, and their interest in the uncanniness of everyday objects. At the same time, the artist is also exploring the human body as a site of subversive messages.” 1
Ingrid Bittar’s detailed figurative collage work reflects on the formation of identity, and the things that happen inside a home. A longtime obsessive collector of vintage books and magazines, Bittar employs imagery from the worlds of three generations: children, parents and grandparents.
A cumulative, sometimes literally top-heavy crushing sense of heritage is a recurrent part of the baroque narrative of Bittar’s work. Her work also questions the normative notions inherent in the media’s representations of gender, ideology and religion.
Also presented are Bittar’s “Mappings,” new crafty collage works on scarfs which visually trace the lineage of her collages.
Duration: October 2 – 17, 2015
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 2-7pm, and by appointment
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 1, 2015, 7-10pm
Exhibition images: Pauline Alioua