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Exploring Every Day Objects; Works by Bontecou, Flavin, and Kienholz at MoMA

Danielle Zickl, Contributing Writer, February 26, 2016

Jasper Johns once wrote, “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.” Thus is the basis of the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition, Take an Object, which explores art created from every day materials.

Contemporary artists from all over the world give new meaning to pieces of scrap metal, furniture, old newspapers, and anything else you can think of. It is fascinating and frankly refreshing to see such creative works of art made out of things you come across in your every day life.

Lee Bontecou’s 1961 Untitled is made from discarded conveyor belts and canvas found near his home in the East Village. In Bontecou’s words, “My concern is to build things that express our relation to this country—to other countries—to this world—to other worlds—to glimpse some of the fear, hope, ugliness, beauty and mystery that exists in us all and which hangs over all the young people today.”

Lee Bontecou, Untitled 1961

Lee Bontecou, Untitled 1961

Dan Flavin’s Roses (c. 1962-66) is made with an Aerolux Flowerlite light bulb, a ceramic flowerpot, a cord, and a light switch. This simple electric flower indeed pushes the boundaries of what could be called art during his time.

Dan Flavin, Roses 1962-1966

Dan Flavin, Roses 1962-1966

 

Edward Kienholz’s The Friendly Grey Computer–Star Gauge Model #54 (1965) is made from an aluminum painted rocking chair, plastic, instrument boxes, index cards, lights, a telephone receiver, a motor, and doll’s legs. This work is a comment on our relationship with technology.

Edward Kienholz, The Friendly Grey Computer-Star Gauge Model #54, 1965

Edward Kienholz, The Friendly Grey Computer-Star Gauge Model #54, 1965


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