|Whilst a broad range of contemporary British artists continue to use collage and the object as the focus for their practice, the origins and developments of this approach are complex and international. The relationships between pre- and post-war DaDa and Surrealist artists in Britain are only now beginning to be recognised and documented and they have yet to gain recognition in international accounts of the movement.
Divided broadly into three areas, this exhibition aims to explore how collage and assemblage in Britain since the 1930s in fact grew out of a European tradition of the object, in particular:
and through the impact of the pre-war British Surrealist group, an influence underpinned by the presence of a number of artists exiled in wartime Britain;
and through the younger generation of post-war artists whose evolution through the Independent Group and British Pop was made possible by a first-hand understanding of Dada and Surrealism rather than simply through an enthusiasm for American popular culture;
and An awareness of Dada and Surrealist approaches continues to be a key theme in contemporary assemblage practices, whether or not the artists concerned are directly interested in continuing this diverse and complex European tradition.
Krzysztof Fijalkowski, January 1999