PAPER ARABESQUE’ was a term coined by artist Paul Nash when describing John Piper’s skill with collage in his earliest solo show in London in 1938. These poetic words have inspired Bohun Gallery’s first exhibition devoted entirely to this medium linking a range of artists and styles extending from the original 60s Pop Artists to recent Turner Prize Nominees.
‘Paper Arabesque’ articulates why the spirit of collage has been vital to generations of artists and illustrates how it continues to evolve in the 21st Century. Collage derives its name from the French word for glue and describes a range of techniques that rely on applying found materials in to a new composition. Its role in the 20th Century is impossible to ignore. From Picasso and Braque’s Cubist experiments to Matisse’s large-scale abstract work and Richard Hamilton’ Pop Art masterpieces, collage has been a primary tool of our most forward-thinking artists. It continues to be a medium of the 21st Century, allowing for the juxtaposition of images and ideas and the questioning and new possibilities beyond the limitations of painting.
Bohun Gallery’s dynamic show combines 20th Century collages by Modern British Masters including, amongst others, John Piper, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Bryan Inghgam, Joe Tilson and Mary Fedden and commissioned work by gallery artists, thus giving a clear sense of its continued importance within the artistic output. The result is a wonderfully dynamic and varied collection of work.