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TUTOR: Dr. Yuval Etgar, The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford

This short course offers an original introduction to the history and theory of collage; an artistic practice that changed the way art was made and interpreted in the turn of the 20th century, and once again with the advent of digital technology.

Over the course of five sessions, we will explore theoretical and art historical texts and examine a broad range of case studies that cover different historical, geo-political, technological and disciplinary contexts. Following an introductory session dedicated to the review of relevant terminologies and timelines, each of the following four sessions will focus on another key attribute of collage and its manifestation in various historical moments, such as the role of edges, the spatial characteristics of collage, its inevitably political nature, and its reliance on found source material. 

The course will be taught across five 1.5hrs classes online via the Zoom platform. 
Each session will have time for discussion. Reading lists will be made available to registered students.

  • Standard £95
  • Warburg Staff & Fellows/external students/unwaged £85
  • SAS & LAHP-funded students £75
  • Warburg Students £50

A limited number of fee-waiver bursaries are available. If you would like to apply please download the form HERE and return it completed to by Friday 31 March 2023.

SCHEDULE: Fridays, 28 April - 26 May 2023, 15:30-17:00


When does the history of collage begin? Could it have possibly ended? What range of practices falls under the term collage? And how have these been regarded in comparison with competing or associated terms such as montage, photomontage, découpage, and appropriation? This session offers an introduction to collage terminology and historiography

How did straight, curved, torn, and folded edges of paper and other materials enter the vocabulary of artistic expression from the late 19th century onwards? This session explores the transition of collage from folk art, craft, and pastime activities into the artistic vocabulary of the European Avant-garde around the turn of the twentieth century by looking at various methods of cutting and their effect. Among the artists discussed are Luise Duttenhofer, Mary Delany, Lyubov Popova, Vladimir Tatlin, Carlo Carrà, Pablo Picasso, Hans Arp, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Hannah Höch


At what point does collage become sculpture, or even architecture? And how do these practices help understand collage’s unique ability to manoeuvre scale, movement, space, as well as the distinction between domestic and public environments? This session takes its point of departure in Clement Greenberg’s essay ‘The New Sculpture’ (1948/58) in order to discuss the problem of medium specificity in collage. Among the artworks discussed are Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau (1937), Richard Hamilton’s Man, Machine & Motion (1955), Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie Drome (1964-5), and Jack Goldstein’s The Chair (1975)

What makes collage an inherently political practice? And how did collage become so commonly used in mass produced printed matter such as magazines and pamphlets? This session explores collage as a site for political and civil protest, looking at modes of making as well as platforms of display from Dada to Black Lives Matter. Among the artists discussed are John Heartfield, Georg Gross, Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martha Rosler, Gee Vaucher, Linder, Peter Kennard, Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker and Xu Guanyu. 


How did digital technology affect the syntactical structure of collage, the nature of its source materials, and its relationship with questions of authorship and originality? The final session looks at digital collage in still and moving image and questions whether the transition from pictures to images is one that requires a new vocabulary altogether. Among the artists discussed are John Stezaker, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, Thomas Hirschhorn, Camille Henrot, Arthur Jafa, and Sara Cwynar.

image: detail from Sara Cwynar, Untitled, 2021 Courtesy of the artist and The Approach