Surreal Collage with Emphasis, Simulated Color and Simulated Texture

Surreal Collage with Emphasis, Simulated Color and Simulated Texture

Design Foundation

Assignment 1

Surreal collage with emphasis, simulated color and simulated texture

Collage takes its name from the French verbcoller, to glue. The work of art is made by pasting things to the surface. Collage became an art form during the Synthetic Cubist period of Picasso and Braque. At first, Pablo Picasso glued oil cloth to his surface ofStill Life with Chair Caningin May of 1912. He glued a rope around the edge of the oval canvas. Georges Braque then glued imitation wood-grained wallpaper to hisFruit Dish and Glass(September 1912). Braque's work is calledpapier collé(glued or pasted paper), a specific type of collage.

Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Chair Caning, 1912Georges Braque, Fruit Dish and Glass, 1912

During theDadamovement, Hannah Höch (German, 1889-1978) glued bits of photographs from magazines and advertising in such works asCut with a Kitchen Knife,(1919-20). Fellow Dadaist Kurt Schwitters (German, 1887-1948) also glued bits of paper he found in newspapers, advertisements and other discarded matter beginning in 1919. Schwitters called his collages andassemblagesMerzbilder, a word derived from the German word "Kommerz" (Commerce, as in banking) which had been on a fragment of an advertisement in his first work, andbilder("pictures").The exclusive use of photos in collage is calledphotomontage.

Hannah Hoch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife, 1919-1920 Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, Carnival, 1947

Collage became the way to integrate "high" and "low" art - work made by the artist's hand and work made by mass-production.

Materials per Student:

  • A variety of magazines

Use cut-outs from magazines or newsprint. National Geographic, Smithsonian, Nature magazines and news magazines can feature several collage-worthy images. Newsprint can add a fun texture to a collage, as well; just be aware that dyes may run sometimes.

  • Scissors
  • Yes Glue
  • A piece of 20 x 30” illustration board

Surrealism- a movement in art and literature in the 1920s, which developed from dada, characterized by the evocative juxtaposition of incongruous images in order to include unconscious and dream elements.

The term surrealism means above reality. This movement focused on things beyond reality, such as the subconscious mind where dreams and random thoughts originate and imagination soars.

Surrealists believe that our dreams held the key to unlocking truth. Because surrealist artists often used dream like thinking in their art, the end result is often based on reality yet incorporates unexpected twists that make their art surprising, strange, silly, interesting, or simply odd.


You will create a surreal image that will include collage. You can use photos, clippings from magazines or newspaper, photocopies, images from the Internet, sandpaper, movie tickets etc. You may cut or tear images. Please look for different types of surface, soft, hard, smooth, etc in your collage elements. When photographs are used for collage materials, texture starts to take on more importance. Now you can use the illusion of many different textures, as well as the colors and objects in the pictures. This is one of the things that make collage such a potentially powerful technique. What you lack in control and versatility is more than made up by the rich variety of colors, textures and images that are at the your disposal. Collage allows someone with modest technical skills, and no drawing skills, to create a sophisticated image.

Surreal collage examples:


CONTROL OF ATTENTION: An artist has to know how to control the attention of the viewers of their artwork. Artists will not succeed in art without this knowledge. Artists plan, order, and organize their artwork. Artists do this by using the design elements such as line, shape, value, texture, direction, color, and size. Artists arrange the design elements by incorporating the principles of design (rules for organizing).

DOMINANCE shows a situation where something is more important and noticeable than its surroundings. Information is rarely of uniform interest in art (except in wallpaper). Most art is used to communicate idea, story or present a point of view. There is usually a focal point, a place where the action is centered. An artist should be able to control what will be noticed first, what is dominant in an artwork, and where the viewer's attention will go from there.

SUBORDINATION: When there is dominance there must be subordination things in lower ranking. In art this means that some things get more attention and some get less. Figure dominates ground for instance. This is a matter of emphasis. Some situations call for strong visual dominance such as attracting the viewer's attention to the main subject of an image. Some situations call for more subtle emphasis such as leading the viewer through the composition and directing them to a secondary focal point. The artist should be able to use all levels of control over the viewer's attention. This includes the ability to put something in an image that may escape detection for a long time (and then find later).