The Easel

Stick ‘em up! A surprising history of collage

An exhibition claims collage has a lineage of 400 years. Really? The gluing on of scraps of paper is venerable and yes, Victoriana “scrap work” was varied. But collage in the hands of Braque and Picasso (and the surrealists) was light years away from what came before. Beyond this art history squabble, collage is entrenched as a creative – and disruptive – force in our visual culture.