While a large canvas can prove immersive, the thumbnail-sized can also engross, as demonstrated by “The Tiny Picture Show” at Pavel Zoubok. Over 60 intimately scaled collage and assemblage works by modern and contemporary artists encompass a range of personal and artistic concerns. Stamp-sized collages by literary figures like poet Joe Brainard and mail-art impresario Ray Johnson testify to the associative free-flow inherent in the medium. Karl Marx (c. 1940) by Joseph Cornell, a round box containing a wallet-sized photo of the political philosopher as well as assorted bric-a-brac, resembles a child’s treasure chest, filled with seemingly worthless mementos. A single sheet by John Evans stands in for the thousands of collages he produced every day for 37 years. These deeply personal contributions contrast with more abject fare by the likes of Ilse Getz (lines of ashed cigarettes fill a wall-mounted vitrine), Barton Lidicé Benés (John, 1995, cremated ashes) and Hannah Wilke (grotesquely black chewed gum in a glass box). Fabulous stocking stuffers, all.
Pictured: Ray Johnson: Untitled (Ray, May), ca. 1966, collage, 2½ by 2¼ inches. Courtesy the artist and Pavel Zoubok, New York.