ⓘ Assemblage (art)


ⓘ Assemblage (art)

Assemblage is an artistic form or medium usually created on a defined substrate that consists of three-dimensional elements projecting out of or from the substrate. It is similar to collage, a two-dimensional medium. It is part of the visual arts, and it typically uses found objects, but is not limited to these materials.


1. History

The origin of the art form dates to the cubist constructions of Pablo Picasso c. 1912–1914. The origin of the word in its artistic sense can be traced back to the early 1950s, when Jean Dubuffet created a series of collages of butterfly wings, which he titled assemblages dempreintes. However, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and others had been working with found objects for many years prior to Dubuffet. Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin created his "counter-reliefs" in the mid 1910s. Alongside Tatlin, the earliest woman artist to try her hand at assemblage was Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the Dada Baroness. In Paris in the 1920s Alexander Calder, Jose De Creeft, Picasso and others began making fully 3-dimensional works from metal scraps, found metal objects and wire. In the U.S., one of the earliest and most prolific assemblage artists was Louise Nevelson, who began creating her sculptures from found pieces of wood in the late 1930s.

In the 1950s and 60s assemblage started to become more widely known and used. Artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns started using scrappy materials and objects to make anti-aesthetic art sculptures, a big part of the ideas that make assemblage what it is.

The painter Armando Reveron is one of the first to use this technique when using disposable materials such as bamboo, wires, or kraft paper. In the thirties he made a skeleton with wings of mucilage, adopting this style years before other artists. Later, Reveron made instruments and set pieces such as a telephone, a sofa, a sewing machine, a piano and even music books with their scores.

In 1961, the exhibition "The Art of Assemblage" was featured at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition showcased the work of early 20th-century European artists such as Braque, Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, and Kurt Schwitters alongside Americans Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, Robert Mallary and Robert Rauschenberg, and also included less well known American West Coast assemblage artists such as George Herms, Bruce Conner and Edward Kienholz. William C Seitz, the curator of the exhibition, described assemblages as being made up of preformed natural or manufactured materials, objects, or fragments not intended as art materials.


2. Artists primarily known for assemblage

  • Andre Breton 1896–1966, a French artist, regarded as a principal founder of Surrealism.
  • Wolfgang Paalen 1905–1959, an Austrian-German-Mexican surrealist artist and theorist, founder of the magazine DYN and known for several assembled objects, f.e. Nuage articule
  • Joseph Cornell 1903–1972, Cornell, who lived in New York City, is known for his delicate boxes, usually glass-fronted, in which he arranged surprising collections of objects, images of renaissance paintings and old photographs. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.
  • Minoru Ohira born 1950, a Japanese-born artist.
  • Janice Lowry 1946–2009, American artist known for biographical art in the form of assemblage, artist books, and journals, which combined found objects and materials with writings and sketches.
  • Jeffrey Vallance born 1955, an American artist known for his assemblages, drawings, sculptures, paintings and conceptual art.
  • Arman 1928–2007, French artist, sculptor and painter.
  • Fred H. Roster born 1944, an American sculptor.
  • Ondrej Mares 1949–2008, a Czech-Australian artist and sculptor best known for his Kachina figures – a series of works.
  • Markus Meurer born 1959, a German artist, known for his sculptures from found objects
  • Edward Kienholz 1927–1994, an American artist who collaborated with his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz, creating free-standing, large-scale "tableaux" or scenes of modern life such as the Beanery, complete with models of persons, made of discarded objects.
  • John Chamberlain 1927–2011, a Chicago artist known for his sculptures of welded pieces of wrecked automobiles.
  • George Herms born 1935, an American artist known for his assemblages, works on papers, and theater pieces.
  • H. C. Westermann 1922–1981, an American sculptor and printmaker.
  • Gordon Wagner 1915–1987, was a pioneer in American assemblage art, who was known for his bazaar art, painting, poetry and writing.
  • Alexis Smith born 1949 is an American artist best known for assemblages and installations.
  • Tom Wesselmann 1931–2004, an American Pop artist, painter, sculptor and printmaker.
  • Jean-Jacques Lebel born 1936, in 1994 installed a large assemblage entitled Monument à Felix Guattari in the Forum of the Centre Pompidou.
  • Robert H. Hudson born 1938, an American artist.
  • Hans Bellmer 1902–1975, a German artist known for his life-sized female dolls, produced in the 1930s.
  • Louis Hirshman 1905–1986, a Philadelphia artist known for his use of 3D materials on flat substrates for caricatures of the famous, as well as for collages and assemblages of everyday life, archetypes and surreal scenes.
  • Greg Colson born 1956, an American artist known for his wall sculptures of stick maps, constructed paintings, solar systems, directionals, and intersections.
  • Romuald Hazoume born 1962, a contemporary artist from the Republic of Benin, who exhibits widely in Europe and the U.K.
  • Raoul Hausmann 1886–1971, an Austrian artist and writer and a key figure in Berlin Dada, his most famous work is the assemblage Der Geist Unserer Zeit – Mechanischer Kopf Mechanical Head, c. 1920.
  • Meret Oppenheim 1913–1985, a German-born Swiss artist, identified with the Surrealist movement.
  • Robert Rauschenberg 1925–2008, painter and collagist known for his mixed media works during six decades.
  • Irma Hunerfauth born 1907, a German artist, known for her combine paintings, collages and assemblages, scrap sculptures, machines and kinetic art from found objects.
  • Rosalie Gascoigne 1917–1999, a New Zealand-born Australian sculptor.
  • Jasper Johns born 1930, an American Pop artist, painter, printmaker and sculptor.
  • Betye Saar born 1926, American visual artist primarily known for her assemblages with family memorabilia, stereotyped African American figures from folk culture and advertising, mystical amulets and charms, and ritual and tribal objects.
  • Lubo Kristek born 1943, a Czech artist known for his critical assemblages of bones, traps, material cast out by the sea, waste and mobile phones destructed in a happening.
  • Wallace Berman 1926–1976, an American artist known for his verifax collages.
  • Wolf Vostell 1932–1998, known for his use of concrete in his work. In his environments video installations and paintings he used television sets and concrete as well as telephones real cars and pieces of cars.
  • Vladimir Tatlin 1885–1953, a Russian artist known for his counter-reliefs - structures made of wood and iron for hanging in wall corners in the 1910s.
  • Jeff Wassmann born 1958, an American-born contemporary artist who works in Australia under the nom de plume of the pioneering German modernist Johann Dieter Wassmann 1841–1898.
  • Daniel Spoerri born 1930, a Swiss artist, known for his "snare pictures" in which he captures a group of objects, such as the remains of meals eaten by individuals, including the plates, silverware and glasses, all of which are fixed to the table or board, which is then displayed on a wall.
  • Louise Nevelson 1899–1988, an American artist, known for her abstract expressionist "boxes" grouped together to form a new creation. She used found objects or everyday discarded things in her "assemblages" or assemblies, one of which was three stories high.
  • Assemblage is a term with uses in several fields: Assemblage art Assemblage composition Assemblage archaeology Assemblage philosophy a philosophical
  • Assemblage refers to a text built primarily and explicitly from existing texts to solve a writing or communication problem in a new context The concept
  • art mixed media is an artwork in which more than one medium or material has been employed. Assemblages and collages are two common examples of art using
  • postmodern art Other modern movements cited as influential to postmodern art are conceptual art and the use of techniques such as assemblage montage
  • American artist known for her box sculptures. Working in the tradition of assemblage art she created pieces using ordinary, found objects such as dominoes
  • Xerox camera on an experimental basis. Wallace, called the father of assemblage art would use a Verifax photocopy machine Kodak to make copies of the
  • Freytag - Loringhoven Wolf Vostell Altered book Anti - art Assemblage Appropriation art Classificatory disputes about art Collage Decollage Found object music Found
  • as Bury Museum and Art Gallery, it was renamed Bury Art Museum in 2011. The museum is home to the Wrigley Collection, an assemblage of over two hundred
  • European Commissioner and Member of the European Parliament Lidija Auza - Assemblage and Abstract artist Biruta Baumane - 2002 winner of the Baltic Assembly