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Art Encyclopedia - Assemblage

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > A > Assemblage

Assemblage is an art term used to describe an art work that is assembled rather than painted, drawn, modelled or carved. The art work can be assembled entirely or in part and its constituent elements can be performed, natural, manufactured material objects or fragments not intended as art material. When applied to sculpture the art work is referred to as assemblage sculpture.

The origin of the term assemblage in art 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.





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