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  • Writer's pictureDarcy McVicar

Found Objects and Sculptures

Found objects are everyday items that are transformed into works of art, often through the process of repurposing and redefinition by the artist. In sculpture, found objects are often incorporated into a larger work as a way of adding meaning, texture, or context to the piece.

The use of found objects in sculpture can be traced back to the Dada movement of the early 20th century, where artists such as Marcel Duchamp famously used ordinary objects like a urinal or a bicycle wheel to subvert traditional ideas about art and beauty. Over time, the use of found objects has become a widely accepted and respected form of artistic expression, and is now a common practice in many art movements, including Surrealism, Pop Art, and assemblage.

Found objects are appealing to artists because they bring with them their own history, culture, and meaning. By incorporating these objects into their work, artists are able to create new narratives, comment on social and political issues, and make connections between the past and present. For example, an artist may use a rusted car part to represent the decline of the auto industry, or a piece of discarded machinery to symbolize the end of an era.

One of the key challenges of working with found objects is to maintain their individuality while also making them part of a larger, cohesive work. This often requires the artist to manipulate or alter the object in some way to make it fit within the context of the piece. This can involve cutting, welding, painting, or even breaking the object apart and reassembling it in a new form.

Another challenge of working with found objects is to find a balance between the object's inherent qualities and the artist's vision. While the artist may want to use the object to make a specific statement, they must also consider the object's history and cultural associations, as these can often add layers of meaning to the work. This delicate balance requires the artist to have a strong understanding of the materials they are working with, as well as a clear vision of what they want to achieve with the piece.

Despite the challenges, the use of found objects in sculpture can produce powerful and thought-provoking works of art. Whether it is a commentary on society, a personal statement, or a celebration of the beauty of everyday objects, the use of found objects allows artists to bring new life to things that might otherwise be discarded and forgotten.

In conclusion, found objects in relation to sculpture refer to everyday objects that are transformed into works of art. Found objects are a widely accepted and respected form of artistic expression, and are often incorporated into a larger work as a way of adding meaning, texture, or context to the piece. By using found objects, artists are able to create new narratives, comment on social and political issues, and make connections between the past and present. The use of found objects can be challenging, but it can also produce powerful and thought-provoking works of art.






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