Breaking through the onslaught of images in contemporary culture, British artist John Stezaker (b. 1949) subverts the familiar through collage in a way that is at once captivating and unsettling. John Stezaker--the first US museum exhibition of this influential artist’s work--reveals his lifelong fascination with the potent force of images, showcasing his investigations into the ways visual language can create meanings that vary dramatically according to context. Stezaker transforms classic movie stills and vintage postcards, magazines, and book illustrations by inverting, slicing, and combining them to challenge and complicate the original connotations. With over ninety works on paper from the 1970s to today, John Stezaker offers an in-depth survey of the artist’s ability to produce compelling new images by juxtaposing disparate images from found photographs.
John Stezaker is organized by Whitechapel Gallery, London, in collaboration with Mudam, Luxembourg, and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The St. Louis exhibition is curated by Karen K. Butler, assistant curator. The exhibition will open on January 27, 2012 and remain on view through April 23, 2012.
Support for the exhibition is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; James M. Kemper, Jr.; the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; the Hortense Lewin Art Fund; and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
About the artist
John Stezaker was born in England in 1949, and currently lives and works in London. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the 1960s, and has since taught at Central Saint Martins School of Art, Goldsmiths College, and the Royal College of Art. Stezaker has exhibited widely across the UK and Europe from the early 1970s to today; recent solo exhibitions include Freiburg Kunstverein (2010); Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst Bremen (GAK) (2008); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2007); Stills Gallery, Edinburgh (2007); and White Columns, New York (2006). Major group shows include Collage: The Unmonumental Picture, New Museum, New York (2008); Tate Triennial 2006—New British Art, Tate Britain, London (2006); The British Art Show 5 (2000); and the 40th Venice Biennale (1982).
With over 120 illustrations, this monograph presents the first overview of John Stezaker's work on paper from the 1970s onwards, featuring his found images, collages, image fragments, and a selection from The 3rd Person Archive. Essays by Dawn Ades and Michael Bracewell, as well as a conversation between the artist and curators Daniel F. Herrmann and Christophe Gallois, place Stezaker's work in a historical context and analyze his methodology and practice.
The Museum's Education department connects special exhibitions with students of all levels through specialized tours, curriculum plans, hands-on activities, and more. Download the Educator's Guide for the exhibition for more details.
John Stezaker, Love XI, 2006. Collage, 9 3/8 x 7 1/8". Private collection, Switzerland. © John Stezaker.
John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) LXI, 2010. Collage, 11 3/16 x 8 1/2". Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London. © John Stezaker.
John Stezaker, Mask X, 1982. Collage, 9 11/16 x 7 1/8". Ringier Collection, Switzerland. © John Stezaker.
John Stezaker, Pair I, 2007. Collage, 7 7/8 x 10". Private collection. © John Stezaker.
John Stezaker, Mask XXXV, 2007. Collage, 10 3/16 x 8 1/8". Collection of Bona Montagu, London. © John Stezaker.
John Stezaker, Pair IV, 2007. Collage, 7 11/16 x 9 7/8". Private collection. © John Stezaker.