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Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
In this thesis I discuss my material practice as it relates to a history of still-life painting, and the cyclical recurrence of assemblage in western art history. The traditional still-life object is examined through the lens of my material-gathering process at estate sales. Objects reconstituted at these sales are the impetus for an investigation of the still-life object’s connection to magic, the mutability of meaning, and the fading American middle class. The use of these objects for assemblage sculptures in the studio prompts a discussion of the history of assemblage and found-object sculpture in Dada, Merz, Surrealism, and contemporary practice. I also compare critical eras in twentieth-century history with present day to form a hypothetical link between unstable environments and ephemeral works. As my sculptures are disassembled and their components scattered, I speculate on the future lives of the objects I once gathered, and confront the critical role of documentation.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Klein, Alexander, "My Favorite Things" (2020). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 141.
Available for download on Sunday, May 08, 2022