John Stezaker is one of the most distinguished voices in the history of image-based collage. Since the 1970s Stezaker’s work has occupied a unique position in the face of radical changes in the economy of popular visual culture and its implications for the value of ‘found’ imagery in art. Faced with the post-conceptual crisis of the mid-1970s, Stezaker came to reject the prevailing tendency among his British contemporaries towards agitprop photomontage, promoted in the name of punk, anarchism and second-wave feminism. He also positioned himself at a distance from the North American Pictures Generation artists with whom he had a meaningful exchange during this period, and in whose narrative he remains something of a missing link to this day. Stezaker was gradually to become consumed by a different enquiry altogether – one that was, and remains, invested in the possibility of reviving the mechanically reproduced image and exploring its potentials as an outmoded visual currency that is shifting out of circulation in favour of new technologies and alternative modes of image distribution.
John Stezaker: At the Edge of Pictures forms the first monographic study to provide a historical account of Stezaker’s life and work. By taking the eventful decades of the 1970s and 1980s as its prism, Yuval Etgar offers a new reading of the artist’s practice as well as a mapping of collage and image appropriation strategies from this pivotal period.
2020 Softback Publisher: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König. ISBN: 9783960988915 Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 cm Pages: 176pp £28