A key figure in the world of British conceptual art and spiritual forerunner to the now-lionized Young British Artists group, John Stezaker’s surreal-yet-uncannily-simple postcard collages had never made it as far north as Manchester until a gift of 19 of them from Karsten Schubert to the Whitworth has allowed this exhibition to go ahead. Among them are selections from his Film Portrait Collages, a project which tore the portraits of famous movie actors from their original contexts and made them ridiculous. Stezaker is one of those artists whose work is based on such a simple premise that it’s hard to see why he hasn’t been endlessly plagiarised, although the internet now abounds with edited pictures created out of that same simple joy: finding surrealism in the slight manipulation of images.

Fri 1 Dec 2017 – June 2018, The Whitworth, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER. Tel 0161 275 7450, times vary, FREE, www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk

Image: John Stezaker, Mask XII, 2005. Collage
© John Stezaker. Courtesy The Approach, London. Photo: FXP photography

Fri 1 Dec - Sun 25 Jun
William Felix Robinson
Published on:
Mon 18 Dec 2017