Vicente made his first collages in the summer of 1949, while teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. Elizabeth Frank, art historian and author of the monograph on Esteban Vicente, writes: “As he has often recounted, he found it impossible to paint away from his New York studio. He tried drawing in black and white but was dissatisfied with the results. Then one day, while reading the San Francisco Sunday papers and noticing their color supplements (which may well have reminded him of woodblock color stories in the Madrid newspapers of his childhood), he began tearing the newspaper pages in strips and gluing them to paper as collages. Realizing that he could deal with the same problems in collage that he had been forced to suspend in the the paintings left in New York, he henceforth adopted collage as an integral part of his practice as an artist, and continued working seriously with it when he returned to New York that fall.” Vicente continued to work with collage for the next five decades.