Np: 1992. 9 x 12" sketchbook of Strathmore 60 lb archival acid free paper, ring bound, with one hundred sheets, 79 of which feature collages which are either glued or taped down with clear tape - a few using red tape. Inscribed in pencil at the first leaf, alongside the first collage in Pelieu's hand: "to Chas Plymell 92 Xmas.”" Fine. Provenance: from the collection of Gregory Smith, of Mother Road Productions, via the trade. Smith was a friend of Plymell's who published the 1989 edition of his Last of the Moccasins under that imprint.
An astonishing and previously unknown collection of collages by Pelieu. Pelieu and his partner Mary Beach increasingly worked in collage from the 90’s onward. Their work was featured in several gallery shows in Europe and memorably in an excellent 2001 show and exhibition catalog curated by the late John McWhinnie. In his short essay in that catalog Thurston Moore had perhaps the best summation of their work - “Collages of real life both delightful and deadly, horrible and high, jazzed and disjointed, jinxed and holy. . . The Art and writings of Mary Beach and Claude Pelieu remain as visionary grace, codes and mirrors to spark song as revolution.”
The 79 collages in this collection have a speed and cohesiveness that emerges upon successive readings. Occasionally collages echo each other by reference to certain themes, or even physically as clippings and fragments of pages are reincorporated into later works. The collages incorporate fragments of fashion, pop culture, and even the art world, notably in a collage which features one of Warhol’s Marilyn’s, and one which incorprates a reproduction of a work by Barbara Kruger along with a quote on her work. The self-referential quality extends to the Beat Generation, with a collage that includes a well known photograph of Jack Kerouac, smoking and painfully aware of the camera - perhaps a commentary on the public perception of a movement that Plymell was such an important part of? Item #20971