Stezaker has been influential to a number of developments in art
over the last three decades, from Conceptual art to Appropriation art, through to the re-emergence of collage. Using found photographs and printed material, Stezaker’s collages involve various interventions such as excisions, maskings, cuts, rotations and visual concordances. Juxtaposing disparate sources, his work creates compelling new im- ages. The writer and curator Michael Bracewell recently wrote, “Dis- quieting, poetic, compelling, romantic, inscrutable, glamorous and strange, Stezaker’s re-arrangement and intervention into the virtually infinite resource of mass imagery conflates aesthetics, psychology, cultural and visual theory. In this his work resembles nothing less than a visual encyclopaedia of human consciousness – a ‘lectio divina’ of semiotics, creating both new experiences of looking and seeing, and enabling renewed understanding of artists and thinkers as diverse as Baudelaire, Jung and Warhol.”
For the solo exhibition at Independent Régence, Stezaker will show for the first time a combination of collages and found objects. Hands of figures in historic film stills and actors’ promotional material fea- ture in many of Stezaker’s collages, a part of the human body often seen but rarely considered. Using discarded hands from display man- nequins as his sculptural subject matter, Stezaker re-appropriates their original use and function by presenting them in a new, revised con- text. Here both found image and object engage in a sensory interplay, exploring touch as a visual motif.
John Stezaker (b. 1949, Worcester, UK) has shown extensively interna- tionally and won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2012. The work is represented in museum collections including Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Seattle Art Museum, Washington; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem and Los Ange- les County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. Stezaker lives and works in London.