The following text is from the press release for the exhibition:
Photo-Collage, on view from August 23 – October 3, 1982, will explore the use of collage in photography, and offers the opportunity to view some of the diverse directions of contemporary photography. The exhibition, organized by Coordinator of Special Projects, Sally Gall, complements the major exhibition on view in the museum’s upper gallery, The Americans: The Collage. Both exhibitions expand the traditional definitions of “collage. ” Like collage itself, photo-collage can take many forms. Multiple exposures, layered negatives, and cut and glued photographs can all be grouped together as photo-collages. In addition, photographers who mark or color their photographs, and those who photograph objects that appear to be a collage, but are not, are included in this exhibition.
Approximately 30 works by contemporary artists illustrate the creative possibilities inherent in collaging images or altering existing ones with added materials. The artists in the show include Harry Callahan, Paul Cava, Reed Estabrook, Stephen Frailey, Benno Friedman, Judith Golden, Robert Heinecken, Kenneth Josephson, Bea Nettles, Olivia Parker, Bruce Patterson, John Phal, Nancy Rexroth, Lucas Samaras, Jerry Uelsmann, William Wegman, and John Wood.
Photo-collage began in the 1920’s with Dada and Surrealist artists who juxtaposed photographs images for a startling effect. Interest in photo-collage lapsed between the 1930’s and 1950’s, with photography sticking close to its single-image origins. The early 1960’s saw an explosion of forms and methods, many of which are exemplified in this exhibition. Artists explored the paradox of manipulating the image of reality in the medium thought to be its truest mirror.
Each artist uses widely varying techniques. For example, Robert Heinecken contact prints magazine and newspaper photographs on a variety of surfaces; Kenneth Josephson photographs on photographed image within another; Reed Estabrook builds a portrait using individual Polaroid photographs. Technical diversity is one of the hallmarks of the show.
Gallery III is made possible through a joint grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from Imperial Sugar Company. Other support is provided by the McAshanEducational and Charitable Trust and Transco Companies, Inc.