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Art History

Art Without Intent Celebrates the Aesthetics and Mysterious Histories of Found Objects

November 25, 2022

Kate Mothes

A vintage head on a stand that reads "desire"

All images © Art Without Intent, shared with permission

“The found object is an illegible, unknowable thing, out of reach even when in hand,” reads a statement of Art Without Intent, both a collaborative project and a way of looking at historic material culture. In March 2022, a group of nine antique and art dealers curated the Found Object Show in New York City. Crackled paint, weathered patinas, eccentric shapes, and amusing juxtapositions characterized the pop-up exhibition of 96 eccentric items.

Removed from their original contexts, transformed by time and the elements, and reinterpreted in a salon-style exhibition, the objects transmit an aesthetic experience similar to viewing art, even if the anonymous makers did not intend to create artworks in any formal sense. “Transformed physically and contextually, a found object sometimes packs the same aesthetic and conceptual punch of conventional art. But without artistic motive nor objective meaning, it must lie in wait to ambush an imagination,” the group explains.

Accessibility is a unique facet of the show, which invites dedicated collectors, history buffs, curious passersby, and children into the showcase, in which all objects are available for sale in a unique art-gallery-meets-antique shop atmosphere. “Art without intent ennobles the random, celebrates the anonymous, and embraces the subjective, empowering individuals to see art where they may least expect to find it.”

The next Found Objects Show will feature eighteen exhibitors and is scheduled for March 24 to 26 with an additional focus on stuffed animals. You can find out more about the project, purchase a catalogue on the website, and follow updates Instagram. (via BoingBoing)

 

Installation view of 'Found Objects Show' in New York City, March 2022

Barbells made from coffee cans.

Items in 'Found Objects Show' in New York City, March 2022

Installation view of 'Found Objects Show' in New York City, March 2022 through a window with a logo in the foreground.

Two images of found objects. Left: Five metallic hands sitting on a concrete surface. Right: Two laced shoes with long leather extensions from the toes.

Installation view of 'Found Objects Show' in New York City, March 2022

Two images of found objects. Left: Two sculptural metallic pieces on stands. Right: Conical forms covered in barnacles.

A piece of wood in a trapezoidal shape with three holes and a comb-like addition on the front.

Installation views of 'Found Objects Show' in New York City, March 2022

An aged wooden box filled with animal skulls.

 

 

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