Made during time spent in the North East of England, Bainbridge’s collages have a North Eastern precedent in Richard Hamilton who, 40 years earlier made his pop collages in Newcastle, and 20 years before Hamilton – Kurt Schwitters who ‘merzed’ his ephemera, the result of which was a sequence of proto-pop art pictures.
Through ‘cut and paste’, the old way of doing, Bainbridge creates new relationships between images that have been abstracted and detached from their original source and context of brand and commercial message.
These collages are glistening and playful, even risqué (can images be risqué these days?!). A surface fetish is present: skin glows, hair shines and eyes glisten, colour is sumptuous. There is a push/pull of repulsion and attraction, Bainbridge has looked too carefully at the pages of fashion and lifestyle magazines.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Eric Bainbridge: Supercollage at The New Art Gallery, Walsall 4 May – 21 July 2012.