assemblage

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Art Craft History

Discarded Ceramic Shards Are Celebrated in Multi-Part Assemblages by Conservator and Artist Bouke de Vries

October 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Bouke de Vries works with ceramic assemblage to reinterpret historical pottery in multi-part sculptures. The Dutch artist studied at the prestigious Central St. Martin’s in London and worked in high fashion before pivoting to ceramics conservation and restoration in the early 1990’s, which he learned at West Dean College. Confronting the moral dilemmas around valuation of imperfect artifacts in his vocational practice, de Vries challenges the value of imperfection, damage, and cultural history in his exploded artworks.

Broken blue willow plates amalgamate into a map of China, a shattered turquoise vase finds a new function as the contents of a clear glass vessel, and small shards of porcelain become the thorns on a blossoming rose. In a statement on his website, the artist explains:

Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasizes their new status, instilling new virtues, new values, and moving their stories forward… Where even an almost invisible hairline crack, a tiny rim chip or a broken finger render a once-valuable object practically worthless, literally not worth the cost of restoring. There’s something incongruous about the fact that such an object, although still imbued with all the skills it took to make it – be it first-period Worcester, Kang-xi or Sevres – can so easily be consigned to the dustbin of history.

De Vries’s work has clearly struck a chord with viewers: he exhibits widely and in 2019 alone has shown work at Hillwood House in Washington, Mesher Gallery in Instanbul, The Museum of Fine Art in Montgomery, Alabama, the Kuntsi Museum in Vaasa, Finland, the Museum of Royal Worcester, and at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale in Yingge, Taiwan. The artist is represented by galleries in The Netherlands, U.S., and U.K. Explore more of de Vries’s work and stay up-to-date on his latest exhibitions via Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art Documentary

Repurposing the World’s Plastic Waste: An Interview With Assemblage Sculptor Thomas Deininger

August 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Every year more than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans. This anxiety, coupled with fears of a dramatic decline in insect populations and a global climate crisis, fuel the assemblage-based works of Thomas Deininger (previously). In a new short film by gnarly bay, clips of Deininger in his studio are supercut with footage showing the many ways that plastic has laid damage to our world’s sea creatures and environment. It is these bits of mindlessly discarded plastic that the Bristol, Rhode Island-based artist uses to create his sculptural optical illusions—which are often of the exact same animals and insects that the plastic threatens. You can see more of Deininger’s three-dimensional works built from found objects on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Insects Sculpted Out of Repurposed Automotive Parts by Edouard Martinet

June 1, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Guepe Vase (Wasp), 38 x 20 x 75cm

French artist Edouard Martinet (previously) sources junk metal and automotive parts from garage sales and flea markets to create detailed sculptures of various creatures including models of ants, wasps, and other common insects. The found objects are held together with screws instead of welded joints, and the completed works measure between 30 centimeters and 2 meters long.

Martinet’s fascination with insects began when he was 8 years old. He went on to study design at l’École Supérieure des Arts Graphiques in Paris and to work as a graphic designer before starting to experiment with sculptures made of repurposed parts. Each work begins with an extensive sketching phase, followed by a look through Martinet’s large cache of collected “junk.” The sculptor rarely modifies pieces to fit a certain application, and will instead wait several months or years if necessary to find the perfect component. He turns bicycle badges into chrome fish scales, chains into antennae, and other miscellaneous scraps into anatomical facsimiles that seem manufactured specifically for his art.

An exhibition of Edouard Martinet’s work opens on June 1 at Bettina von Armin Gallery in Paris, and you can also follow the artist on Instagram for more looks at his studio process and completed sculptures.

Guepe (Wasp), 51 x 36 x 35cm

Guepe (Wasp), 51 x 36 x 35cm. Photos: Xavier Scheinkmann

Fourmis (Ant), 56 x 37 x 34cm

Poisson Lorette (Fish), 66 x 12 x 29cm

Poisson Lorette (Fish), 66 x 12 x 29cm

Sauterelle (Grasshopper), 70 x 29 x 45cm

Sauterelle (Grasshopper), 70 x 29 x 45cm

Scarabe Bleu (Blue Beetle), 52 x 44 x 12cm

Libellule (Dragonfly), 105 x 50 x 80 cm

Libellule (Dragonfly), 105 x 50 x 80 cm

 

 



Art

Symbiotic Assemblages by Amy Gross Combine Animals and Insects with Fictionalized Habitats

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

South Florida-based artist Amy Gross creates hand-embroidered and beaded fiber sculptures that contain colorful nods to the natural world. Bees dot the surface of a work formed from leaves, honeycomb, and moss, while other works contain kaleidoscopic arrays of birds, mushrooms, and other fungi. Although the sculptures reflect a natural symbiosis, their structures are fictionalized in both their color and composition. None of the elements of her pieces are found objects, but rather each handmade from craft store supplies and objects like yarn, beads, wire, and paper.

“Making objects is my way of turning thought into something solid and real, and in a way, slowing time,” Gross tells Colossal. “I never use anything in my work that was ever alive, I collaborate solely with manufactured materials. They mimic living things but will not wither or die. It’s a very human desire to slow or control disintegration, to try to have a say in a volatile, uncontrollable world of change.”

Gross is included in a group exhibition titled Small Works, Big Impact which opens on November 15, 2018 at Momentum Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. You can see more of her nature-inspired assemblages on her website.

 

 



Art

Geometric Shapes and Angular Faces Combine in New Salvaged Wood Murals, Assemblages, and Tattoos by Expanded Eye

October 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Expanded Eye (previously) is an arts collective formed by London-based artists Jade Tomlinson and Kevin James that utilizes a wide range of media to explore human consciousness and connectivity. The pair use salvaged wood to create colorful assemblages, sculptures, and public murals each designed in their unmistakable geometric style. Natural elements such as plants and birds are common motifs in their three-dimensional works. These images also cross over into their long-running tattoo practice which combines illustrated doodles, architecture-inspired renderings, and triangular patterns.

The duo is currently in Lisbon for a three month residency at WOZEN, which wraps up next month. During their stay they have been exploring the socio-economic and environmental pressures of the community, and creating work that seeks to address local issues of over-consumption, waste, and gentrification in Portugal’s capital. A cumulative exhibition titled No Future Without Memory will open at the space on November 9, and include the many large-scale three-dimensional works the pair have made during their time at the studio. You can follow more of their work on Instagram and Facebook.

Image by Sylvain Deleu

Image by Sylvain Deleu

 

 



Art

Sculptural Assemblages by Thomas Deininger Are Three-Dimensional Tricks of the Eye

September 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Thomas Deininger creates mind-bending optical illusions in his found object sculptural assemblages. The Rhode Island-based artist shares with Colossal that he began creating work from found objects in 1994, when he was “experimenting with the physical qualities of paint and abstraction in both material and imagery.” He continues,

Most of the content I was exploring involved mass consumerism, pop culture and environmental concerns. So really the medium easily became the message. I question beauty, value, and perception and how the three concepts do this little dance that changes how we all relate to the (physical and spiritual) world and how reality is just an illusion we all settle on for a time.

Deininger also explores assemblage in two-dimensional paper collages. Throughout his various mediums, he uses photographs and materials from popular culture, including Barbie dolls and trolls, and has re-created famous paintings by Diego Velázquez and Vincent van Gogh. You can see more of his work on Instagram.

 

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Art

Striking Silverware Animal Assemblages by Matt Wilson

December 18, 2017

Christopher Jobson

South-Carolina based artist Matt Wilson brings old silverware to life in his bent and welded sculptures of birds and other wildlife. Fastened to pieces of driftwood or mounted to segments of old lumber, the pieces seem to capture the lifelike essence of the robins, owls, and sea creatures they represent despite a minimal number of components. Wilson has an uncanny ability to let the found objects in his pieces speak for themselves, adapting the natural curvature of spoons and forks into folded wings and long tails. You can explore more of his work on Instagram and in his Etsy shop. (via My Modern Met)