Book Creator

"Reframe your choice." - Assemblage Art

by Vijayaraghavan S


"Reframe your choice." - Assemblage Art
(Summative Art Assignment)
S.Vijayaraghavan, Faculty of Visual Arts - Senior School, KC High
Image credits: Alumni's artworks from AKAH and KC High School
Putting everyday things in new situations by connecting them in new ways with other things in the piece gives them new meaning, turning them from trash to art.
Generic Aim: The purpose of the unit is to enhance student’s ability, perception, awareness of cultural diversity, art appreciation, and history of art, develop skills, techniques and processes to communicate concepts and ideas in the field of IB Visual Arts Curriculum. 
Essential idea: • Understand the difference between representation and non-representation art forms in assemblage art; • Understand historical significances • Dadaism, Ready-mades, and Surrealism.
Use recycled art frames in this project, this frame can be of any shape and any condition, and the size should be within 8x10 inches or more than that. If you’d like to do tiny frames, do multiples.
● Create a composition that interacts with your ideas based on your theme and 'Assemblage style' in the socio-cultural, and personal context.
  • incorporates, manipulates/changes, or extends onto this picture frame.
● You may use any media, 2-D or 3-D. You could sculpt onto your frame, paint it, completely change the shape, and make your art cross over its edges... no limits!
The only wrong answer for this project is a plain frame!
Medium: Acrylic, Air dry Clay, Polymer Clay, Paper-Mache, 3D pens, Wires, Fevi-quick, Rubber solution, Shilpakar – M-seal, etc...
Art Movement connection – Assemblage Art
Assemblage art is a three-dimensional form of expression created on a defined substrate. It is similar to collage, a two-dimensional medium, and it typically uses found objects but is not limited to these materials. The word "assemblage" about arts wasn't introduced until the early 1950s when one of the first "official" assemblage artists, Jean Dubuffet, created a series of collages of butterfly wings.

Jean Dubuffet, Landscape with Argus (Paysage aux argus) August 1955, Collection Fondation Dubuffet, Paris © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London
This form of expression exists between painting and sculpture and had to create its definition, so it became the art of assembling, of making artistic compositions using all kinds of found materials and objects, from junk and scraps to paper, wood, stone, and much more. Assemblage is often described as a collage taken one step further. However, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a richly composed collage and a modest in the quantity of its elements.

Dadaism stands as a highly avant-garde and unconventional artistic and cultural movement that emerged during the 20th century. In response to the post–First World War social climate in Europe, Dadaism advocated the rejection of bourgeois culture, wartime politics, and the capitalist economic system. Diverse languages assign the name Dada a variety of meanings, in addition to having no meaning. Dadaism, at its core, presented pessimistic and irrational assessments of the prevailing order. By employing unconventional materials, absurd subject matter, satire, and Dada artists turned the known into the unknown. Dadaism found influence in several other Avant-garde movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These movements include Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, and Constructivism. A common thread that runs throughout these movements and Dadaism is that of cultural critique. Dadaism was as untraditional in its output as it was in its material use. Works of Dada art range from photography to painting, sculpture, performance art, collage, and poetry. Through these works, Dada artists made a mockery of nationalist and materialist attitudes.
An artistic and literary movement led by André Breton from 1924 to WWII. Using Freud's psychoanalytic theories, the Surrealists intended to destroy modern society's stifling rationality by accessing the subconscious's sur réalisme (superior reality). In his 1924 "Surrealist Manifesto," Breton called on artists to use radical new methods and visual forms to explore the unexplored depths of the imagination using the mind's involuntary mechanisms, particularly dreams. These included abstract “automatic” drawings, hyper-realistic painted scenes inspired by dreams and nightmares, and strange material combinations.
Contemporary Artist's Influence: Valerie Hegarty
Valerie Hegarty is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates paintings, sculptures, and installations in mixed media. Hegarty has explored fundamental themes of American history throughout her career with a particular interest. in the legacy of 19th-century American art, addressing topics such as colonization, slavery, Manifest Destiny, historical revisionism, nationalism, and environmental degradation in her work.

Hegarty’s painting-sculpture hybrids constructed of wood, wire, and epoxy clay also recall the Japanese tradition of Ikebana (“arranging flowers or making flowers alive.”) Though Hegarty manifests the prototypical the subject of flowers in varying iterations, she inscribes contemporary anxieties regarding environmental loss, genetic mutations, apocalyptic destruction, and illness into the works.

Hegarty’s art is not without a sense of hope, however- with roots spiraling out of frames and wooden stretcher bars transforming into rogue branches, stems, and tulips, her works transmute the dead to the living, resilience and survival persisting amidst the threat of destruction.

Valerie Hegarty's Artworks: Valerie Hegarty