John Stezaker

Double Shadow

New book on the work of John Stezaker, ‘Double Shadow’.

Duality, both physical and metaphoric have always been at the centre of Stezaker’s work.

In the most recent ‘Double Shadow’ collages the processes of splitting and doubling are used to reflect on the duplicitous figure of the uncanny: the doppelgänger, Janus and hermaphrodite figures.

The combination of silhouette contours reanimates these archetypal images from their most anodyne source.

The contours of the figures of masculinity and femininity, so sharply delineated in 1950s Hollywood images, are dissolved into strange and sometimes monstrous hybrids; uneasy pairings created in the intersection of shadows that seem to hover between worlds.

Inspired by the use of silhouettes in fin de siécle fairytale illustrations and early expressionist cinema, Stezaker claims to have “rediscovered the pleasures of drawing” in these works, “in the power of contour to delineate the edge between presence and absence and the imaginary and the real.”

Works from the ‘Double Shadow’ series by Stezaker were exhibited in ‘John Stezaker: Double Shadow’, 24 Feb-26 Mar 2022, The Approach, London.

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