A good example of a work in which art criticism becomes art in its own right, Queer Paper Gardens,
or The Wildlife of Symbols – a collaboration between
the Portuguese artists paula roush & Maria Lusitano – explores the history of collage through the work of its female practitioners, from Mary Delany’s scientifically precise cut-paper botanical illustrations of the 1700s
to Valentine Penrose’s surrealist
Dons De Feminines made in 1951.
The beautifully produced five volume publication borrows its format from a 1934 edition of Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine De Bonte, but uses the artists’ own collaborative photography, collage and drawing to highlight a less familiar path through the history and meaning of the medium itself.