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Art Encyclopedia - Found Object

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > F > Found Object

Found Object
In art it refers to an object that has been found by chance and not looked for specifically. The object is regarded as significant and is incorporated into the art work. The found object has special, fantastic, magic or even aesthetic implications, which differentiates this object from objects used in collage.

Early uses of found objects in art focussed on the readymades of artists such as Marcel Duchamp, who shocked the art world with his famous display of a ceramic urinal in 1917. Pablo Picasso and Kurt Schwitters were among many early proponents of the use of found objects in art, which became an important feature in the work of many schools of art, including the Surrealist, Dadaist, Merz, and Conceptual art movements.

Found objects have gained increasing importance in art over the course of the twentieth century, with many art movements finding new freedoms of expression which had been stifled by the more stringent definitions of art previously used. In the last fifty years, artists ranging from Robert Rauschenberg to Tracey Emin have incorporated found objects into their work either as a main focus of the art or as embellishing features. | Contact Us | List Your Art | List Your Art Gallery | Site Map

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