The recent collages are an extension or variation on the drawing process, in this case, the fluid lines and shapes produced with black ink on paper. The collage technique allows for a kind of “found” imagery, forms that emerge from the process of cutting and pasting the torn fragments together. The potential for images to emerge gradually and unpredictably is what makes this manner of working so appealing. The outcome is as much a discovery as it is a conscious creation, and that keeps it interesting and fresh, from the production standpoint.
It is interesting to think about how one can return to a manner of working, in this case collage, and find something different, another direction, after years of doing other things. The work of Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Joseph Cornell, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner and Ray Johnson, among others, makes it clear that collage can be approached from many directions and with a myriad of compositional intentions. The experiments of John Cage, in particular his use of found object and chance operations, has been an inspiration for me in its freedom of expression and spontaneity.
No two collages are alike, each has a unique quality, some more painterly, more expressionist, others more narrative, with “found” imagery. One hopes to keep working and finding new things, until the work changes, and then one is lead on another path.
Robert G. Edelman