Marcus Ratliff: Collages Then and Now, a retrospective of more than fifty of Ratliff’s collages assembled between 1962 and the present, opens on Thursday, February 13, 2014. This is the first exhibition of Ratliff’s collages to be held in a New York gallery.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ratliff moved east to study painting in New York at Cooper Union and then in New Haven at the Yale School of Art. During the early sixties he was immersed in the rising tide of the New York art world. His fine-art background, along with his acquired experience of typesetting and graphic design, led Ratliff into a long and successful career creating catalogues, posters, and announcements for major artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and publishers in New York and internationally. In 2008, after a forty-year hiatus, Ratliff returned to the pursuit of creating art for himself.
Ratliff’s surreal images are composed primarily of unrelated, curious, and exotic paper ephemera, which he has collected and often saved for many years. In the artist’s hands these cut and pasted fragments take on newly acquired narrative form, often with literary and mythological references. These seductive, amusing, and smart collages pull the viewer into the artist’s creative adventure.