John Stezaker, Love XI, 2006, Collage, Private Collection, Switzerland, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, Pair IV, 2007, Collage, Private Collection, © The Artist.

John Stezaker's Assemblage Practice Fraught with Love of Cinema

John Stezaker, Sonata I, 2009, Collage, Collection Stephen Bennett, Germany, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, Untitled, 1977, Collage, Courtesy of the Artist and the Approach, London, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) LXI, 2010, Collage, Courtesy of the Artist and the Approach, London, © The Artist.

 

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel, High Street
+ 44 (0) 20 7522 7888
London
John Stezaker
January 29-March 18, 2011

British artist John Stezaker is fascinated by the lure of images. Taking classic movie stills, vintage postcards and book illustrations, Stezaker makes collages to give old images a new meaning. By adjusting, inverting and slicing separate pictures together to create unique new works of art, Stezaker explores the subversive force of found images. Stezaker’s famous "Mask" series fuses the profiles of glamorous sitters with caves, hamlets, or waterfalls, making for images of eerie beauty.

His "Dark Star" series turns publicity portraits into cut-out silhouettes, creating an ambiguous presence in the place of the absent celebrity. Stezaker’s way of giving old images a new context reaches its height in the found images of his "Third Person Archive": the artist has removed delicate, haunting figures from the margins of obsolete travel illustrations. Presented as images on their own, they now take the centre stage of our attention.

This first major exhibition of John Stezaker offers a chance to see work by an artist whose subject is the power in the act of looking itself. With over 90 works from the 1970s to today, the artist reveals the subversive force of images, reflecting on how visual language can create new meaning.

Stezaker was born in 1949 in Worcester, UK, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the 1960s. He has since taught some of Britain’s leading artists at the following art schools, St Martin’s School of Art, Goldsmith’s College and the Royal College of Art, and has exhibited widely across the UK and Europe from the late 1960s to today, as well as contributing his writings to several publications. He lives and works in London.

The exhibition is curated by Daniel F. Herrmann, Curatorial Programme Manager, Whitechapel Gallery.

John Stezaker is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Ridinghouse in association with the Whitechapel Gallery with texts from Dawn Ades, Michael Bracewell and John Stezaker in conversation with Daniel F. Herrmann and Christophe Gallois (£24.95).

Stezaker is represented by The Approach, London.

John Stezaker is organised by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Mudam, Luxembourg.

John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) XXXII, 2007, Collage, Private Collection, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, He (Film Portrait Collage) XIV, 2007, Collage, Courtesy of the Artist and the Approach, London, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, Betrayal (Film Portrait Collage) IX, 2008, Collage, Courtesy of the Artist and the Approach, London, © The Artist.

John Stezaker, Untitled (Rose), 1982, Collage, Rubell Family Collection, © The Artist.