Assemblage is an artistic process in which a three-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects.

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 d’empreintes. However, both Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso had been working with found objects for many years prior to Dubuffet. They were not alone, alongside Duchamp the earliest woman artist to try her hand at assemblage was Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the Dada Baroness, and one of the most prolific, as well as producing some of the most exciting early examples, was Louise Nevelson, who began creating her sculptures from found pieces of wood in the late 1930s.

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 twentieth century European artists such as Braque, Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, and Kurt Schwitters alongside Americans Man Ray, Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg, and also included less well known American West Coast assemblage artists such as Wallace Berman, 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.

Here is the assemblage for Project Zero, a tribute to Rauschenberg’s “Bed”. I call this “Bar”. A power bar is in fact, an assemblage of four food groups plus additional nutrients that can be stored in a pocket.


In the arts, an act of creation which either allows chance to play a major role or which draws on the unconscious mind through free association, states of trance, or dreams. Automatism was fundamental to surrealism, whose practitioners experimented with automatic writing and automatic drawing, producing streams of words or doodles from the unconscious. It has been taken up by other abstract painters, such as the Canadian Automatistes, a group working in Montréal in the 1940s, and the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock

week 4 post

Intertextuality is the shaping of an artwork’s meaning by other artwork. It can refer to an artist borrowing and transforming a prior work or to a viewer referencing of one artwork in viewing another. The term “intertextuality” has, itself, been borrowed and transformed many times since it was coined by Julia Kristeva in 1966.

Death by Shampoo evokes David’s “Death of Marat”.  Marat was murdered in his bathtub by an enemy. In a way, the pursuit of beauty can be the death of other important elements in our psyche, namely self-esteem and confidence. Not a violent murder, but a slow and painful one.

Death by Slimfast is a tribute to  Grande Odalesque, by Ingres. The original painting shows a concubine.  Grande Odalisque attracted was criticized when it was first shown for its elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The Slimfast photo has as its textual reference the pressure put on women for centuries to conform to an ideal body type.  Slimfast has made millions of dollars but has very few sustained successes– the body type and the ideal are just not that realistic.

Muerte por Bananas references Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film, “The Birds”. In the film, tame lovebirds become vicious, pigeons peck out the eyes of unsuspecting island vacationers, and crows kill people. The film is so effective because it is not about something really dangerous, like wolves or  sharks for example. Bananas are a very silly looking food, pigeons are rather silly birds. I think this is the connection.


Automatism is the act of creating spontaneously, without thinking about the end result or the construction, but more feeling and letting the art come from somewhere in the subconscious.

Joan Miro (1893 – 1983)
Nationality: Spanish
Movement: Surrealism
Media: Painting, Ceramics

Born in Barcelona, Spain, Joan Miro studied under Franciso Gali, originally painting in Fauvist and Cubist style. After poor reviews of his first solo exhibition, Miro traveled to Paris to seek out Pablo Picasso, who introduced Miro to the Surrealist, whom he joined in 1924. Interested by the relationship of art and the subconscious mind and slightly skeptical of Surrealism, Miro began to create his own biomorphic and semi-abstract forms in the late 1920’s. During the Spanish Civil War, he moved to France, but returned home when Nazis invaded France during World War II.

week 2 entry

Week 2.- Sept 13

2.- Daniela Edburg 1

Q: In the series Drop Dead Gorgeous, what do you think are the links between the objects, gender, and context?

Most of the objects relate to some pressure women face– nutrition, beauty, appearance, all of which may tend to distract women from reaching self actualization in other areas– intellect, purpose, meaningful lives. Advertising simultaneously tells women to dress up, put on makeup and be very, very slim, then over saturates the senses with images of food.

Book Project

I selected this book to reinvent because it is about repurposing objects that are basically trash and turning them into useful things like furniture and storage. Not all of the projects are useful, but some of them look promising.

I found the book at a bargain bin outside a bookstore. The book looked forlorn and was directly in the sun. It’s sad when books get treated like this. Any book is the reselt of a lot of work, not to mention hope and dreams. So I rescued it, a lot like a rescue dog except without all the feeding and walking. Here is a photo of my new friend: