Photomontage

About

Russian artist Varvara Stepanova defined photomontage in 1928 as “the assemblage of the expressive elements from individual photographs.” A technique best known for its close ties to Dada, photomontage is a type of collage in which photographs (either taken by the artist or sourced from mass media) are assembled into a single composition. The images may be physically or digitally combined and, in particular in early compositions, may contain text or abstract shapes. During its development in the early 1920s, bragging rights for the invention of photomontage were hotly contested, often in manifestoes, with Dadaists Hannah Höch, Raoul Hausmann, and John Heartfield in Germany, and Alexander Rodchenko (Stepanova's husband) in Russia emerging as the foremost names associated with the technique. Although its Dada connotations are still strong, the technique continues to offer a vital visual language to such contemporary artists as John Stezaker.

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