This is the first survey exhibition of collage ever to take place anywhere in the world.
Part of this year's Edinburgh Art Festival, this survey exhibition of collage spans 400 years and a multitude of practitioners, from children to punk artists, 16th-century anatomists to modern masters. Although the technique has been popular for centuries – the Victorians produced do-it-yourself kits, and a huge screen possibly part-made by Charles Dickens is one of the highlights – collage came into its own in the 20th century.
During the early half of the century it was taken up by Dadaists and Surrealists, as well as by artists including Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Works from this period include Picasso’s Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper (1913), Henri Matisse’s Le Clown (1947), and Eileen Agar’s Fish Circus (1939).
During the 1960s and 1970s, collage became a form of protest. On display are Carollee Schneemann's, Linder's and Hannah Wilke’s feminist works, Terry Gilliam’s creations for Monty Python, and the library books that sent playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell to prison for six months: they secretly doctored the covers in protest at the choice of reading material available at their local library.
The exhibition also explores how collage continues to play an important part in many artists’ practices right up to the present day.