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objet trouvé



(noun) - Term applied in the 20th century to existing objects, manufactured or of natural origin, used in, or as, works of art. With the exception of the Ready-made, in which a manufactured object is generally presented on its own without mediation, the objet trouvé is most often used as raw material in an Assemblage, with juxtaposition as a guiding principle. Prior to the 20th century unusual objects were collected in cabinets of curiosities, but it was only in the early 20th century that found objects came to be appreciated as works of art in their own right. Antoni Gaudí, for example, used broken pieces of pottery to cover exterior surfaces in the Park Güell buildings (1900–14) in Barcelona and on various buildings designed by him during the same period. The development of collage in Cubism heralded a greater dependence on found objects, paralleling the incorporation of conversational fragments in the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire from 1912; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, in particular, used real items in their paintings and constructions as a way of commenting on the relationship between reality, representation and illusion. Their example in turn encouraged Vladimir Tatlin to use ordinary objects in his reliefs of 1913-14, and other sculptors, such as Alexander Archipenko and Umberto Boccioni, to extend the range of materials acceptable in sculpture.

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