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CollagePicasso may have named it, but Höch made it cool

It's said that Picasso and Georges Braque coined the term collage from the French word coller, 'to glue' to describe the practice of cutting up bits of paper, printed material and canvas and gluing it back together to form a new artwork, but this gives these gentlemen too muich credit. While it may not have had a fancy French name, the practice of combining art materials into a whole dates back to 200 BCE, when paper was invented in China, and calligraphers would affix poems onto artwork. The English artist Mary Delany adapted the Victorian hobby of decoupage, gluing together cutouts of different colored paper, into her own form of collage, making 985 artworks over the course of her life. Reguardless of its invention, collage did emerge as its own powerful and unique form of expression in the early 1900's — largely from the incredibly expressive body of work by the artist Hannah Höch. Höch's collage are arresting in their immediacy, and wouldn't look out of place on Instagram's art feeds.

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The Spark of Life

Charles Dellschau, 1899-1900

Plate 4520: MAYBE

Charles Dellschau, 1899-1900

CAAD Auto Fallease

Charles Dellschau, 1919

Cubist Composition

María Blanchard, 1916-1919

Proun 19D

El Lissitzky, 1920-1921

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 1

El Lissitzky, 1923

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 6

El Lissitzky, 1923

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 5

El Lissitzky, 1923

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 4

El Lissitzky, 1923

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 3

El Lissitzky, 1923

The Denaturalized Material, Destruction 2

Theo van Doesburg, 1923

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 2

El Lissitzky, 1923

Cubist Self-Portrait

Salvador Dalí, 1923


Hannah Höch, 1925

From Above

Hannah Höch, 1926-1927


André Breton, 1928

Untitled, from an Ethnographic Museum

Hannah Höch, 1929

Untitled, from an Ethnographic Museum

Hannah Höch, 1929

The First Days of Spring

Salvador Dalí, 1929


Hannah Höch, 1930

German Girl

Hannah Höch, 1930

Red Army Men

Varvara Stepanova, 1930

Be Ready!

Varvara Stepanova, 1932

Dream Ride

Hannah Höch, 1947


Charmion von Wiegand, 1950

Shattered Light

Lee Krasner, 1954

Bird Talk

Lee Krasner, 1955

Little Sun

Hannah Höch, 1969


Hannah Höch, 1970

Free Space I

Lee Krasner, 1975

Free Space II

Lee Krasner, 1975

Future Indicative

Lee Krasner, 1977

Music for J.S. Bach

Robert Motherwell, 1989

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