Some Observations on ART by AMA

Somewhere between Schwitters, Cornell and Rauschenberg

An important part of AMA's artwork involves assemblage and collage; in this respect his work can be evaluated in the context of the three above mentioned artists from the 20th Century. AMA is very appreciative of their artistic and expressive achievements.


                     AMA                                  Kurt Schwitters                  Joseph Cornell                Robert Rauschenberg

When a fellow American artist admonished Joseph Cornell by saying that it seemed he was attempting to create art from material taken from his grandmother's attic, Cornell was delighted because, although the criticism was directed at the nostalgic elements evident in his boxes and collages, it was just this mood which he was seeking to create. In his approach to producing art, his work has become to be widely regarded as some of the most poetic art of the twentieth century.

Any artist who employs materials expressing the passage of time invites a charge of nostalgia and finding confidence in knowing of the past. AMA is very conscious of this and accepts his work can be seen to be infused with sentimentality. However, those who fail to recognise that every medium and its associated materials are charged with history overlook a significant layer of meaning in a work.


In a world where it would seem that most everyone wants to experience life through staring at beautifully organised coloured dots on a flat screen, however condenced, AMA rejoices in the nature of physical material, real material with its particularities and the modulation thereof, whereby subtleties of expression and meaning can be articulated.

Take Robert Rauschenberg's 'Combines' and the collages of Kurt Schwitters, for example. Despite some striking similarities, which involve their reorganisation and juxtaposing of pre-existing elements, the analogies often drawn between them can be spurious. Rauschenberg's choice of everyday matter is impersonal, it reflects his surroundings rather than his own taste. On the other hand, Schwitters' use of collaged fragments express a nostalgia; they are as mementos containing some degree of narrative and, indeed, a narrative we now find relatively easy to read.


Cornell took the basis of what was largely a developing two dimensional visual language and added the third (physical) dimension, further emphasising what can be regarded as the fourth dimension of time. Whereas Schwitters' compositions can be regarded as tightly controlled and formal and Cornell's compositions are controlled and poetic, Rauschenberg's can be seen as more spontaneous, allowing the content of collaged elements to show through, reproducing the multi faceted order of the artist's environment. Explaining the inclusions in his art, Rauschenberg  said "I don't want a picture to look like something it isn't, I want it to look like something it is. I think a picture is more like the real world when it's made out of the real world."


                AMA                                  Kurt Schwitters                            Joseph Cornell                    Robert Rauschenberg


In a number of his works, AMA presents items taken from 'the real world' but in such a way that the viewer is invited to consider the necessity of associations, both personal and universal. This is essential if there is to be a perceived value in work of this nature. Real physical items are real physical items, it is in the organisation of the spaces in between the materials that the artists creates thei art.