(noun) - As one familiar with the word "assembly" might assume, assemblage is a form of sculpture comprised of "found" objects arranged in such a way that they create a piece. These objects can be anything organic or man-made. Scraps of wood, stones, old shoes, baked bean cans and a discarded baby buggy - or any of the other 84,000,000 items not here mentioned by name - all qualify for inclusion in an assemblage. Whatever catches the artist's eye, and fits properly in the composition to make a unified whole, is fair game.
The important thing to know about assemblage is that it is "supposed" to be three-dimensional and different from collage, which is "supposed" to be two-dimensional (though both are similarly eclectic in nature and composition). But! There's a really fine, nearly invisible line between between a bulky, multi-layered collage and an assemblage done in extremely shallow relief. In this large, grey area between assemb- and col-, the safest course is to take the artist's word for it.
construction, bricolage, collage (inaccurately), sculpture
Let's save many thousands of words here and look at some pictures of assemblages done by different artists.
- Raoul Hausmann: Mechanical Head (Spirit of Our Age), ca. 1920
- Man Ray: Indestructible Object, 1964 (replica of 1923 original)
- Louise Nevelson: The Tropical Gardens, 1957
- Meret Oppenheim: Object, 1936
- Kurt Schwitters: Broad Schmurchel (Breite Schmurchel), 1924
- Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination (Exhibition Image Gallery)
- Robert Rauschenberg: Combines (Exhibition Image Gallery)