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Marina Delaney
Visual Arts Dept., Dowling College
April, 16, 1999
Statement for catalog accompanying the exhibition, “Selections: Collage” at The Islip Museum/ The Anthony Giordano Gallery in Oakdale N.Y. 

Layered Visions: The Collages of Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs, who has been involved with the art of collage for nearly two decades, has developed a complex visual language that seeks to reconcile the rational with the irrational. Jacobs’ collages are usually comprised of spliced images applied to an architectonic framework. The stability of the architectural foundation allows him to juxtapose incongruous elements that, in spite of themselves, produce a singular cohesive vision. Instinctively the artist seems to assert the primacy of visual relationships over knowledge: in his world it is color, line and space – not reason – that are determinants of logic.

An accomplished photographer as well, Jacobs uses both printed matter and excerpts from his own photographs as the raw material in his collage work. The assemblages move in vertical, horizontal, and circular directions, alternating in a series of sometimes stammering, sometimes smooth rhythmic patterns. The artist also achieves an unusual interplay between hard-edged geometric shapes and more fluid organic forms. This unique combination of contextual and textural shifts creates a distinct pictorial style that invites the viewer to travel within each composition. 

The art of collage, as a reconfiguration of discarded images, is a medium destined to render order out of chaos. Jacobs has understood this inherent dilemna and resolves it in a manner that is decidedly post-modern. Passages of humor and wit, beauty and nature, psychology and rhetoric, coexist as a fragmented though unified whole. Indeed, Jacobs continues to reconsider the formal aspects of collage while adhering to the basic principles of its Cubist origins, as an ironic form of expression.