ASSEMBLAGE ART & WALLACE BERMAN

(Above: Dean Stockwell and Wallace Berman)

Wallace Berman is one of the genuine masters of assemblage art, an approach which in essence means making artistic compositions (be they 2-D or 3-D) by putting together found objects. Throughout the 20th century this has been an ever-more popular technique, beginning with some of Picasso’s cubist constructions, and employed as well by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, and many others.

Beginning in the 1950s and continuing till the end of his life, Berman used a Kodak Verifax machine (a predecessor to the Xerox photocopier) to make copies of images found in magazines and newspapers, then mounting them, sometimes in grid formats, as collages interspersed with or applied to solid painted areas.

Here is a fine article on Berman’s Verifax collages which appeared in 2009 in Contemporary Art Daily, for additional background.