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John Stezaker

The works that the British artist John Stezaker (1949) has been creating since the mid-1970s make use of film stills and portraits of actors found in secondhand bookshops, pictures taken from vintages books and old postcards. At their root lies the fascination that the found image can wield, thus reversing the usual hierarchy between artist and artwork: “Images find me rather than the other way round”, as John Stezaker is fond of repeating. Like his Mask series, in which postcards depicting landscapes, grottoes and waterfalls cover, mask-like, the faces of film actors, his collages and image fragments are hallmarked by minimal modes of intervention: cropping, inversion, superposition, juxtaposition, etc.

Because the images used by John Stezaker refer to a recent but nonetheless bygone period, they apply the poetic and revelatory powers that the Surrealists saw in “outmoded” objects. “I’m interested by the obsolescence of images, the point where they become illegible and mysterious, when they touch another world”, John Stezaker explains. His works propose an arrest of, or a delay in, the flow of images that characterises the contemporary world, making images that were obscured behind their uses and functions suddenly visible.

Artworks

  1. John Stezaker Mask CIV, 2011

    Collage
    25,8 x 20,4 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Alex Delfanne, London

  1. John Stezaker Siren Song I, 2011

    Collage
    25,3 x 20,7 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Alex Delfanne, London

  1. John Stezaker The Bridge (from the Castles Series) XIII, 2006

    Collage
    30 x 22 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Alex Delfanne, London

  1. John Stezaker The Bridge (from the Castles Series) XL, 2008

    Collage
    34 x 24 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Alex Delfanne, London

  1. John Stezaker The Bridge (from the Castles Series) XVI, 2008

    Collage
    30 x 22 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Alex Delfanne, London

Marina Abramović, "Video Portrait Gallery", 1975-1998 | Collection Mudam Luxembourg | Acquisition 2001
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