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Sculpting Glossary

What is Assemblage? (Its Importance in Art)

March 23, 2022 by

In this guide, we’ll be diving into everything you need to know about assemblage in sculpture and art.

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Table of Contents

What is Assemblage in Art?

Assemblage or construction is an old process. An assemblage is an art form in which different objects are generally found and comprised together in such a way that it forms a new object.

The objects can be natural and artificial. Stones, woods, paper, and metal objects are included in it.

It started nearly 100 years ago when Picasso made the first construction of this type.

In 1961, the key exhibition of this form of artistic art was exhibited at the Modern Art Museum of New York and was titled “The Art of Assemblage.”

This exhibition established this form of art as a global phenomenon and praised many well-known artists like Picasso, Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, and Jean Dubuffet.

Why is Assembling Important in Art?

Assemblage gives a new look to already present materials. The broken or unworthy materials are combined to give them an artistic and new look.

Because it often incorporates artifacts and non-art objects, many assemblage arts aim to challenge the original.

To further explore assemblage, we also recommend this video:

Difference Between Assemblage and Construction in Sculpture

Assemblage and construction in sculpture are connected.

Assemblage is to put different objects together, and construction means building a new and composed form out of it.

Artists do two things while making a new sculpture.

First, they find the objects and materials needed to put them together, and second, they turn them into new forms.

So, putting different kinds of shapes together is assemblage — while making new shapes and forms from these objects is known as construction.

Tips for Assembling in Sculpture

The most important tip for assemblage involves gathering different objects and materials.

Since you are the artist, it is your creation, so you can use any objects you like and then combine them into a single and refined form.

To further explore tips on assemblage, we also recommend this video by La Wilson:

Popular Assemblage Sculpture Artists

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp created Sculpture from mundane objects, and it led to Assemblage arts.

He made a bicycle wheel out of steel and made it stand on the four-leg stool in the year 1913.

Raul Housemann

He took objects like a watch mechanism, ruler, tin cup, and tape measure, attached them to the wooden head, and made a great Sculpture in 1920.

Meret Oppenheim

Her revolutionary designs by Elsa Schiaparelli have provoked endless imitation and extermination, from Tokyo Kumagai’s edible shoes to Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress.

Final Remarks

Assemblage sculpture has revolutionized the field of sculpture, and it provided new depths to the already vast field of sculpting.