Unknown Lennon collage on display

Kate Watson-Smyth
Friday 16 August 2013 05:30
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A John Lennon collage never seen in public is to feature in an exhibition that opens 30 years ago to the day the Beatles split.

The exhibition, starting at Tate Liverpool on 9 April, also includes work by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. It traces collage from its days as a Victorian drawing-room pastime through the work of Kurt Schwitters and the Abstract Expressionism of the Fifties to the present. Sir Paul McCartney has also contributed a collage as a favour to Peter Blake, whose own collection makes up the bulk of the show.

Lennon's collage, done at art school in the 1950s, comprises faces and figures cut from magazines, and features a number of eyes and lips pasted on images of girls. Blake said: "The style tied in with my Sgt Pepper's album cover, which was simply a more organised version, with bigger heads." Natalie Rudd, who helped curate the exhibition, said: "No one really knows much about Lennon's collage. ... It has no title and is rather dark, with a lot of black and red and we can only guess at what he was trying to say."

* Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird, unveiled the first of six road signs branding Liverpool as "birthplace of the Beatles". They say: "Liverpool Welcomes you to the Birthplace of the Beatles."

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