Friday, 9 October 2009

Lisa Hochstein: Paper Collage, Textile and Fine Artist

Illustration: Lisa Hochstein. Compass salvaged paper collage.

Paper work is very often considered to be, within the textile world at least, an integral part of the process of both textile design and textile artwork. In many cases the paper work is the first stage of a fairly lengthy process whereby ideas are first formulated, often changed and manipulated before being transferred to another medium, whether that be textile printing, weaving, quilting, embroidery, or indeed fine art painting. However, it should be noted that paper collage is in its own right an art form and should not be seen as a mere process towards another medium or idea.

The work of the California based artist Lisa Hochstein shows us through her varied work, excellent examples as to how an artist can use a medium like paper collage in tandem with both textile and fine art painting without the paper collage medium feeling an awkward second best. Through her work, she is able to show us the maturity that paper collage can achieve in its own right.

Illustration: Lisa Hochstein. Detour acrylic on canvas.

Paper collage is a fairly wide ranging process with raw materials coming from a number of sources, whether that be found paper and card, pre-coloured or textured papers, or in fact a combination of the two. The collage can also be constructed in a series of processes, from using strips to create formalised pattern work, to a much looser compositional piece that takes its ideals from that of fine art. Paper collage should not be confused with general collage, which is a much looser term that can incorporate anything from vegetation to buttons, newspaper to broken glass or ceramics.

Hochstein, through her salvaged paper collage work, shows us that this form of collage can be assembled from the throw away world around us. The work can appear randomised by using odd pieces of card and paper that have not necessarily been hand painted in a range of colour tones dictated by the artist. However, the collages are clearly not just a result of random effects, but have been cleverly built up in an evolutionary format whereby the collage itself can take on a life of its own, and can in some ways dictate its end result.

 Illustration: Lisa Hochstein. Key to the City salvaged paper collage.

Although all of the pieces shown here by Hochstein could quite easily be interpreted as being based on her paper collage work, they are in fact all independent of each other and no one format dominates the process. Therefore the fine art painting, textile work and paper collage are all able to stand by themselves as finished pieces. However, it is still interesting to note the connection that all the mediums share with that of the paper collage work, and it is the construction of these pieces that seem to influence, at least to some extent, the textile and fine art painting, which then creates a linkage which brings the three mediums together.

Interestingly Hochstein has been a fine art painter and collage artist for the last twenty years, but only expanded into textiles in the last eight or nine years. She wanted to explore the possibility of developing her ideas within another medium and was intrigued as to what effect and result that would produce. The result has indeed been very effective, and now the three mediums of collage, paint and textile seem so intertwined, and naturally so, that the images shown here bear such a strikingly close relationship to each other that they could well appear to be interchangeable.

 Illustration: Lisa Hochstein. Sunday Best hand stitched on salvaged fabric.

Lisa Hochstein has been involved in a number of exhibitions across the US and being the type of artist that she is, they have been exhibitions that are not one-dimensional medium wise, but include fine art painting, collage, mixed media, and textile art.

I have only chosen five examples of Hochstein's work to illustrate this article. However, she has many more, in all three mediums on her website, which is well worth a visit to anyone interested in the relationship between paper collage, fine art painting and textile art, or indeed anyone who wants to see how these mediums can be interpreted in their own right. I would also like to thank Lisa for kindly allowing me to use the images from her website and being most cooperative in the writing of this article.

Reference links:
Lisa Hochstein website

Illustration: Lisa Hochstein. Something to Remember You By salvaged paper collage.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

both interesting, engaging and informative. i'm very drawn to the work this artist is doing. thank you for bringing it to the public eye.

John hopper said...

I am glad that you like and appreciate the work of Hochstein. I will be writing a whole series of articles over the coming weeks on a number of different textile artists, so I hope you will enjoy more of the articles as the weeks go by.