What is Collage Art?

The collage art has been in our lives for a century, but I think the word collage has gained popularity thanks to the social media.

I make collage works in the sealing lesson, which is also included in my training of ART THERAPY WITH PAINTING

Throughout the 20th century, creatives in many movements, mediums and styles began to explore the practice of collage art. Because this creative and innovative approach to art has attracted artists with its aesthetics and unique pieces.

The art of collage, which began in the modernist period and continues in the contemporary art world, has undergone a series of changes with the increasing interest of artists.

Let’s take a look at the art of collage and its development.

How Was the Collage Art Born?

The term “collage”, coined by the Cubist artists Braque and Picasso, comes from the French word “coller” or “to glue/paste”. The movement itself was incorporated into art forms around 1910 by these 2 figures who started working with various mediums to create avant-garde combinations.

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Pablo Picasso

Collages can consist of a variety of materials but are most often made of paper or wood and often include cut-and-pasted photographs, painted forms or even 3D objects. As more and more modern artists began to explore collage throughout the 20th century, these works became more diverse and increasingly experimental.

Collage Art Forms

They are divided into abstract and figurative.

Abstract Collage Movement

An abstract collage consists of pictures and images whose origins have been distorted so that they are no longer visible. Simple techniques include tearing pictures, pasting them on top of each other and applying colored surfaces with straight edges or organically torn edges. Often abstract collages also include sections where drawing or painting is applied. Abstract collages do not have any pictorial meaning, but contain meaning at an abstract level in their use of color and composition.

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Figurative Collage Movement

Figurative collages are collages that utilize the meaning of the original pictures and images used in the collages. Various types of images are used to create a new image with a new pictorial meaning. The inspiration boards prepared by my students in my Vakko Esmod Academy classes, showing typical lifestyle elements, their dreams, inspirations and aspirations, are a perfect example of figurative collage art.

Movements Related to Collage Art


While cubism is mostly associated with painting, the founding figures of collage, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, created collages in this movement.

Cubism, defined by fragmented forms and deconstructed subject matter, paired perfectly with the collage approach, as it allowed artists to literally assemble a painting from disparate components.

Moreover, unlike painting, collages did not run the risk of appearing flat, making them an attractive form for artists such as Picasso and Braque, who aimed for dimensionality in their work. Because simplicity had begun to drag cubist works into a dead end.

In addition to painted cutouts, newsprint and patterned paper were often used by the Cubists, as seen in Picasso’s Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper and Braque’s Violin and Pipe.

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Georges Braque


Inspired by the cutting-edge works of Picasso and Braque, Dadaist artists also began making collage works in the 1920s. Unlike the cubists, who favored still life arrangements, the Dadaists created collages with a wide range of iconography, from reinterpreted portraits to figures based on fantasy.

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Francis Picabia


Immediately after Dadaism, the Surrealists adopted and adapted this cut-and-paste technique. “ Automatic ” image approaches, for this collage art the artists produced one-of-a-kind assemblages of photographs, illustrations, colored paper and paint.

The Cubists abandoned the still life theme, adopting and even extending the Dadaists’ use of strange subjects to create pieces that evoked a dream. This development is most evident in the work of Joseph Cornell and André Breton, who used surrealism and dadaism as a means to create completely imaginary scenes.

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Joseph Cornell – André Breton

Pop Art

In addition to cubism, dadaism and surrealism, collage art is also frequently seen in Pop Art, a contemporary art movement. Initially popularized by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, collage has been developing both traditional and digital methods.

Collage Art Techniques

There are 4 different techniques depending on the materials used.

Paper Collage

Named after the French term “papier collé”, meaning “glued paper”, it is a collage technique in which printed or decorated paper is applied to a canvas-like surface to create a new image. The first collage works of Picasso, Braque and Spanish painter Juan Gris are important examples of this technique.

Cut Collage

The art of cut-out collage, also from the French word “découper”, involves the arrangement and gluing of colored paper cutouts, often through layering. Henri Matisse in particular began to use this technique due to his deteriorating health and created many important decoupage works, such as Blue Nude II (1952).

Photo Collage

This technique of cutting and pasting other photographs to create a new image is known as photocollage or compositing. The new image is often photographed to create a seamless element in a photo collage. The prominence of digital image editing software has greatly facilitated this technique.

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Assemblage, a technique in which three-dimensional images are created by adding objects to a flat surface, is a form of visual art related to collage. Among twentieth-century assemblage artists, I think of Pablo Picasso, who used metal scraps, and Robert Rauschenberg, who combined materials and paint in a mixed-media approach to create reliefs (a sculptural technique in which the background appears raised).

Robert Rauschenberg collage artist
Robert Rauschenberg

Digital Collage

Digital has taken its place in art as it has in every aspect of our lives. In particular, the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence has opened new horizons for artists to showcase their artistic talents. As NFT became more widely adopted, the art of digital collage became one of the techniques. Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple’s ‘Everydays – The First 5000 Days’, which was bought for 69 million dollars in 2021, consists of more than 5000 paintings brought together with collage technique.

The world's most expensive work of digital collage art

Dear Friends

Since I was 2 years old, I have been painting non-stop, so art is at the center of my life. It is very pleasing that art, which has always had an impact on both my bag designs and my style consultancy, develops by renewing itself in different forms. It is a fact that as the interest and love for art and artists increases day by day, both individuals and societies will evolve in a good and beautiful way. With the rise of digital, the art of collage is growing in popularity in our country as well. I believe that our young generation of artists will promote Turkish art and artists on a universal scale.

See you in another article full of art and beauty….

Emre Ertürk 300 × 300 px 1

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