Recent Articles
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her new Artspace edition
Artist to Watch
'I was really trying to paint what it feels like to be living in the fall of human civilization' - Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her powerful new Artspace edition
William Eric Brown on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘I’m most comfortable in that state of unknowing - is it real or imagined?’ - William Eric Brown
TM Davy on his benefit auction contribution
Meet the Artist
'Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that' – TM Davy
Anthony Goicolea on his new Artspace Edition
Meet the Artist
'I am most inspired by those weird transitional moments or in-between states where things undergo metamorphosis' - Anthony Goicolea
Jerry The Marble Faun on the latest Artspace Auction
Meet the Artist
‘It takes a lot of energy to tap into whatever is trapped inside the material - the process is like a releasing a spirit’ – Jerry The Marble Faun
Garrett Chingery on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘My interests include the relationship of one’s self to the world, surrealism and mystery’ - Garrett Chingery
Glennda Testone on the latest Artspace auction
"We have an opportunity to not just 'return to normal' but to create a new normal" – Glennda Testone
Maxi Cohen on A Movement in Water
Meet the Artist
Maxi Cohen - "I find being in water - lakes, rivers, ocean, hot springs - is where I am most creative, where I sink into deep connection with myself"
Our pick of Phaidon's new art and photography books for fall 2021
The Hot List
Our pick of Phaidon's new art and photography books for fall 2021
Catherine Opie on her new limited edition prints
Meet the Artist
Catherine Opie - 'With these photos, I'm asking us to contemplate, quite honestly, what’s happening to our world'
Devin Troy Strother on his new Artspace and Free Arts NYC edition
Meet the Artist
Devin Troy Strother describes his new Artspace and Free Arts NYC edition - ‘It’s similar to just growing as a black person; gotta code switch, and juggle all type situations’
Free Arts NYC founder Liz Hopfan talks about her work
Free Arts NYC founder Liz Hopfan talks about her work and the new Artspace edition with Devin Troy Strother
MOCA LA's Klaus Biesenbach on the new Artspace Editions
MOCA LA Director Klaus Biesenbach on his hit Zoom studio visits and the Artspace artist editions that resulted from them
Huma Bhabha describes her new Artspace and MOCA LA print
Meet the Artist
Huma Bhabha describes her new Artspace and MOCA LA print and explains how classical statuary, sci-fi and taxidermy all inform her art
Jade Montserrat - Why I Draw
Meet the Artist
Jade Montserrat - Why I Draw

Art 101

A Cut-Down History of Collage


A Cut-Down History of Collage
Pablo Picasso's "Still Life With Chair Caning" (1912)

"Collage is the twentieth century's greatest innovation." — Robert Motherwell

"After Picasso and Georges Braque, collage became the most consequential visual-art form of the twentieth century." — Peter Schjeldahl

While artists have been layering images and incorporating autonomous elements into their work since the advent of paper, collage truly emerged as a medium in its own right in the early years of the 20th century with the Cubist experiments of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The duo coined the term “collage” (from the French verb “coller,” meaning “to glue” or “to stick”) to describe works composed from pasted pieces of colored paper, newsprint, and fabric, considered at the time to be an audacious intermingling of high and low culture. It revolutionized modern art.

Whereas the artists’ earlier Cubist phase, known as “Analytic Cubism,” was comprised of paintings that fragmented the world into a series of basic lines and curves, this later period of “Synthetic Cubism” involved combining fragments of various materials to create a new whole. In Picasso’s iconic Still Life With Chair Caning (1912), perhaps the most famous work of this period, the artist playfully renders a tabletop still life by incorporating everyday elements like newspaper and rope, as well as a trompe-l’oeil piece of mass-produced oilcloth printed with a chair-caning pattern.

Inspired by Cubist experiments, artists associated with Dada—particularly the movement’s Berlin branch—began incorporating collage techniques into their work. Hannah Hoch, Richard Huelsenbeck, John Heartfield, and others pioneered the technique of photomontage, using preexisting photographs, often drawn from mass-media sources, to create composite images that sharply critiqued German society and culture in the aftermath of World War I.

Drawing on the foundations of Dada, neo-avant-garde artists of the 1950s like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns created assemblages that brought collage techniques into three dimensions—laying the groundwork for much contemporary sculpture—as well as works on paper that incorporated found elements drawn from the mass media and everyday life. Likewise, the incorporation of materials and images culled from mass culture and consumer goods was a signature of Pop art, exemplified by collage-based works like British artist Richard Hamilton’s Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? (1956), which ironically parodied the lifestyles peddled in advertising through the direct inclusion of its imagery.

Contemporary artists continue to use the medium of collage in new and innovative ways, experimenting both formally and conceptually. Artists like Lorna Simpson and Nina Yuen have used collage techniques as a means of addressing topics like race, class, and politics, while the collective assume vivid astro focus merges the archaic and the futuristic, culling imagery from the Internet and analog sources alike.


a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.