Review: Stezaker releases meanings in old images | St. Louis Public Radio

Review: Stezaker releases meanings in old images

Feb 19, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2012 - The retrospective of British artist John Stezaker’s work at the Kemper Art Museum is nothing short of marvelous. Since the 1970s, Stezaker has collaged, cut up or otherwise intervened in found photographs — old postcards, Hollywood film stills, old travel brochures and the like. His small scale works subvert the original intentions of the images.

The retrospective of British artist John Stezaker’s work at the Kemper Art Museum is nothing short of marvelous.

Since the 1970s, Stezaker has collaged, cut up or otherwise intervened in found photographs — old postcards, Hollywood film stills, old travel brochures and the like. His small scale works subvert the original intentions of the images, releasing latent meanings and dreaming up new levels of significance.

Most remarkable may be Stezaker’s 3rd Person Archive series, in which Stezaker cuts postage-stamp-size pieces out of archaic travel illustrations. These fragments contain tiny images of people, anonymous and entirely marginal in their original context; in Stezaker’s treatment, they become central, mysterious players in an elusive drama.

Also showing at the Kemper is a provocative installation by Hungarian artist Balázs Kisciny titled “Killing Time,” the result of Kicsiny’s two-month position as Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts in 2011.

Ivy Cooper, an art professor at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, is a regular contributor to the Beacon.