Since 1997, Pavel Zoubok Gallery has specialized in Collage, Assemblage and Mixed-media Installation. From the outset, the gallery’s program has presented modern and contemporary works in an effort to create a cohesive art historical context for Collage and its related forms, spanning most of the major art movements of the postwar period. While the primary market has always been a driving force of our program, represented by a diverse group of gallery artists, we maintain an inventory of works by important proponents of the medium, including Hannelore Baron, Joe Brainard, Joseph Cornell, Al Hansen, Ray Johnson, Jiri Kolar, Mimmo Rotella, Anne Ryan, Jacques Villeglé and David Wojnarowicz.
Since the gallery’s 2004 relocation to a ground floor space in the heart of Chelsea, we make a regular practice of publishing exhibition catalogues collaborating with numerous scholars and critics including Alexander Andersen-Spivy, Dan Cameron, Edward Gomez, Robert Hobbs, Charlotta Kotik, Carlo McCormick, Robert Rosenblum and Dickran Tashjian. Our audience continues to broaden and we continue to develop relationships with institutions. Museum associations have included Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Katonah Museum of Art, New Britain Museum of American Art, Newark Museum, Norton Museum of Art, and others. In addition to our stated focus, we have also maintained a tangential but related interest in Surrealism, establishing an inventory of works by artists such as Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta, George Hugnet, Kay Sage and Stella Snead. In 2009, Pavel Zoubok Gallery was made a member of the ADAA (Art Dealer's Association of America).
Perhaps no art form expresses the character of the twentieth century and the contemporary moment with greater clarity and immediacy than collage . Narrowly defined, collage is the construction of images through the deceptively simple act of pasting cut or torn papers. The term derives from the French word coller , meaning to glue, paste, or stick. Collage, however, is much more than a medium for making pictures. It is a mode of perception, a multi-dimensional language with aesthetic implications that span the histories of art, architecture, literature, and music. In the visual arts collage first emerged as a fine art medium in the papier colles , or pasted papers of the Cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Since then, it has played a vital role in almost every phase of Modernism. Its influence is most poignantly reflected in Italian Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Fluxus. Of the many modern masters who worked in collage, however, only a handful can be considered collagists in the fullest sense. Artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Hoch, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell, to name but a few, changed the face of Modernism by asserting that art could indeed be made from almost anything. Even the pictorial purity of Abstract Expressionism could not evade the powerful allure of collage. Robert Motherwell, Lee Krasner, Anne Ryan and Robert Goodnough used collage to expand the practice of abstract painting.
From the mid-twentieth century forward artists have continued to use collage to address a wide range of formal and thematic concerns. While the Modernist period saw only a handful of bona-fide collagists, numerous artists working today have made collage (and by extension assemblage and mixed-media installation) their primary medium and continue to explore and extend its boundaries. The evolution of the collage aesthetic has had an equally important effect on contemporary painters who look to it as a conceptual and/or visual model. The incorporation of montage imagery in drawing and painting has helped to redefine what a collage can be, or become.
Collage engages us with an immediacy that is distinct from other mediums. The artist confronts us with a vision of the world that is literally constructed from the physical context of his/her own experience. Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are inextricably linked to the realities of daily life, the artist establishes an immediate identification, both real and imagined, between the viewer and the work of art. The simplicity of the collage process adds to the sense of immediacy and spontaneity. The basic principle of juxtaposition forms the foundation for an art of limitless associative possibilities. Collage allows the artist to explore simultaneously the mysterious spaces between high art and popular culture, text and image, figuration and abstraction, past and present, two and three-dimensional space.