What is Assemblage??

April Goodjohn

What is Assemblage?


Assemblage is an art form whose origins first date back to 1912 when Pablo Picasso began using newspaper, scraps of wood and match boxes in cubist sculpture. Artists like Marcel Duchamp followed and by the 1950’s Jean Dubuffet created collages from butterfly wings. Assemblage artists appropriate disparate and scavenged objects in a new composition.


The technique was further legitimized when, in 1961, the Museum of Modern Art featured an assemblage exhibition. William C Seitz, the event’s curator, said “Assemblages are entirely or in part, their constituent elements are preformed natural or manufactured materials, objects, or fragments not intended as art materials.”


You might say the adage ‘the sum is greater than its parts’ applies to assemblages. Objects that seem completely disconnected, and are often scavenged, are re-imagined and re-discovered.


April Goodjohn

September 1, 2021