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Contextual Shifts, 2004

Connor Everts

American, 1926-2016
Acrylic, gesso and collage on paper
22-1/8 x 30 in. (56.2 x 76.2 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist in memory of W.E. Everts y Arellanes

Not on view

In his highly accomplished collages, the Southern California artist Connor Everts combines language and representation of everyday objects with actual everyday objects on a divided picture plane. These collages recall the dialogue between two and three dimensions that lies at the heart of modernism. As in the works by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, the patriarchs of papier-collé, Everts’s collages are filled with personal references. The artist, for example, was an extremely talented baseball player, and his father played semiprofessionally. Images of baseballs pepper the works along with representations of playing cards, which refer to his childhood memories of playing pinochle with his mother. In Contextual Shifts, Everts conveys his artistic influences by including an image of one of the most famous works of Western art—Ghiberti’s doors—next to an image of one of the Museum’s own Indian manuscript paintings. As a believer in gestalt theory—the notion that disparate forms produce a unique but distinct whole—Everts found collage to be a natural fit: it simultaneously addresses the intractable formal problems of the twentieth century while presenting the exceedingly personal methods of the mind.

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