Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

The Cutting Edge: Collage

The century of collage that began with George Braque and Pablo Picasso taking wallpaper or newspaper directly to drawing or painting opened a floodgate of exploration and expression making use of diverse materials in concert. Of today’s moment, the seven artists in The Cutting Edge exhibition sharpen their vision employing scissors and wit, glue and gumption.  John Hundt, David Jones, Diana Krevsky, Sherry Parker, Kim Smith, Livia Stein, and Shayna Yasuhara each pursue a different vein of inquiry to touch upon the dream, the dreaded, the seductive, and the puzzling. Riotous color, cool text, and fanciful imaginings all call for visual discovery.

Heir to this lineage, John Hundt makes use of vintage printed images to reconfigure the erotic body, to relocate the physical landscape, and to disorient the conventional thought. In the hands of Sherry Parker, the diverse elements seek to coalesce in a bitter-sweet scene of poignancy. And with yet another inflection, one tinged with nostalgia as well as irony, Kim Smith glues and writes to ask directly what is missing, what is lost, and how do we manage to make things whole again.

It is with the bits and pieces from her own drawings and paintings that Diana Krevsky re-imagines psychological landscapes. This transcends a recycling of materials and images to a discovery of new voices in the re-assembled. The taking of an element from previous work to propel a new vision is also common to Livia Stein as seen in etchings re-incorporated in larger compositions.

Livia Stein opens her work to the culture of India where she has had artist’s residencies: the intensity of color, the sensuality of cloth, and the impulse of ornamentation all propel these complex compositions into an abundance of energy and movement. Similarly, Shayna Yasuhara takes on a visual language of a specific culture – but here it is popular culture: the visual language of animé, the sensibility of cute, and the flat, close values of a palette orchestrated in a muted register.

The specificity of palette, the convention of drawing style, and the open expansiveness of space also figure in the work of David Jones. Lending a sense of nostalgia to the found images that are interrupted by the mixing of puzzles, the inconsistent visual narratives themselves take on a dreamlike disorientation so that even in a seemingly completed construction – the scene, the story, the meaning  – remain puzzling.

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