Objet trouvé

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Replica of Duchamp's Fountain in the Musée Maillol , Paris
(the original from 1917 is missing)

An objet trouvé (French for 'found object') is an everyday or natural object that is “made” into a work of art by the artist “finding” it and treating it as a work of art or integrating it into such a work. This “transformation” or this “undressing” from the previous functional and meaningful context can take place by presenting it on a pedestal, by combining it with other “found” objects or by signing and renaming by the artist. Sometimes the object is alienated by combining it with other objects, disassembling it or changing its color. It is called a readymade (derived from ready-made article ) when an artist has made little or no processing of the found object, i.e. only presented the object and declared it to be art.

Origin and objects

Even with the older sculptures it happened again and again that found objects such as clothes, weapons, pieces of jewelry or everyday objects were integrated. These are often found in religious figures, such as the nail figures of the bass line or the Christian statues of the Madonna , where they serve as fetishes, jewelry or votive offerings. However, such objects are not to be called objets trouvés, as they do not have any artistic character in themselves and also do not form the starting point of a work of art, but only complement it or - in the case of religious figures - enhance it.

The first known example of an objet trouvé avant la lettre was provided by the Swiss sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth when he formed a faun in 1883 around a given natural object, a horn brought from Rome . This unusual work, which the artist himself declared as a joke, was exhibited to the public in the same year, but is no longer preserved today.

As a widely received art form, however, the objet trouvé has its origins in Dadaism as a sculptural extension of the collage ( Kurt Schwitters , Merz-Bauten). The abuse and the purposeless combination of trivial objects and materials in new, often surprising contexts of meaning as well as the elevation to a work of art had playful, anarchic and provocative features.

In surrealism the objet trouvé took on a rather fetish-like character. Lautréamont's 1874 metaphor "beautiful as the meeting of a sewing machine with an umbrella on a dissection table" ( beau comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie! ) From the chants of Maldoror - was meant a young man - not only became the “slogan” of surrealism, but is also a literary anticipation of the objet trouvé in this surreal form. A famous example of a surrealist objet trouvé is probably Meret Oppenheim's Breakfast in Pelz (1936), a cup with saucer and spoon, all covered with fur.

More radical and earlier than Dadaists and Surrealists, the French Marcel Duchamp realized the concept of the objet trouvé in his ready-mades like Fahrrad-Rad (1913), Flaschentdryers (1914) and Fountain (1917). While Fahrrad-Rad still consists of a combination of a wheel, a bicycle front fork and a wooden stool, the other two plants produce industrially manufactured objects, an industrially manufactured wire rack for drying bottles and a commercially available urinal, bought at the Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville, unceremoniously placed on a pedestal and declared an art. The object is detached from its original purpose, semiotically recharged through the arrangement and the chosen title and thus, as it were, “ennobled”. The artistic act therefore primarily consists in selecting or recognizing the artistic potential of an everyday object, which at the same time ironizes the traditional concept of art.

Picasso's bull 's skull (1943), the bronze cast of a bicycle saddle as a skull with a racing handlebar for the horns , also follows this tradition . In the 1960s, the representatives of the Nouveau Réalisme , who explicitly referred to Dadaism in their second manifesto, often worked with found materials. From the 1960s, food - individually or in combination with other objects - was declared an art.

With the multiple I know no weekend (1971–1972), Joseph Beuys reflected on Duchamp's Boîtes-en-valises , the portable artists' museums with reproductions and small objects. In a suitcase, a readymade that is used to transport artist's graphics, Beuys attached further readymades, a Maggi bottle and a copy of the Reclam edition of Immanuel Kant'sCritique of Pure Reason ”, stamped with BEUYS: I know, on the inside of the lid no weekend . In the bottom of the case - covered and not visible - there are graphics by KP Brehmer , Karl Horst Hödicke , Peter Hutchinson , Arthur Køpcke , Sigmar Polke and Wolf Vostell .

In the spirit of the objet trouvé, the French conceptual artist Saâdane Afif has been collecting images of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain from various publications since 2008 . Afif separates the sides of Duchamp's urinal from the publications and has them framed as part of his procedural art project Fountain Archive . The frame objects thus represent new, independent works.

Objet trouvé and readymade also meant an expansion of the concept of the artist , whose main achievement now primarily consists of a cognitive act, which is now more broadly defined than in the traditional concept of disegno . They kept up big influence today - the "object found", for example, in Pop Art and Land Art as well as some representatives of kinetic art , such as Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely ,, the Arte Povera , such as Jannis Kounellis , and the junk kind one essential element. Found objects play an important role for some representatives of the Art brut , but also in arts and crafts.

The concept of the objet trouvé is somewhat more comprehensive than that of the readymade in that it also includes everyday objects that have been integrated into a work of art. The latter are - at least in Duchamp's understanding - not to be regarded as readymades.

The term object art has established itself across all styles for works of art that primarily consist of found materials .

The law is concerned with the question of whether readymades are to be regarded as personal creations in the sense of copyright law.

Readymades after Marcel Duchamp

Corresponding to Duchamp's own classifications, the curator Francis M. Naumann differentiates a total of six types of readymade in the glossary of his book Marcel Duchamp - The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction from 1999: “assisted readymade, imitated rectified readymade, printed readymade, readymade (or ready-made), rectified readymade, semi-readymade ":

  • Assisted Readymade ("supported readymade"), an everyday object that is combined with another object, that is, "supported" by it. Example: bicycle wheel from 1913.
  • Rectified readymade ("improved readymade"), a work of art or the reproduction of a work of art that has been improved by Duchamp or the "subsequent" artist (e.g. with a pen or a brush). Examples: Apolinère Enameled , an overpainted enamel sign from 1916–1917 or LHOOQ , an “improved” reproduction of the Mona Lisa from 1919 with a mustache and goatee scratched on .
  • Imitated rectified readymade ("imitation, improved readymade"), the reproduction of a rectified readymade .
  • Printed readymade (“printed readymade”) is of a poetic-literary nature, ie the found, printed word and the changes, play on words or corruptions of the term made by Duchamp . Example: French Window in Fresh Widow .
  • Readymade , the readymade “in itself”, as an unchanged, adapted object such as the urinal Fountain , 1917.
  • Semi-Readymade (“Half-Readymade”), if the object was already part of another commodity. One example is Duchamp's steel comb Peigne from 1916, whose two punched holes identify it as part of another commodity (handle or similar).

Furthermore, there is the Reciprocal Readymade (“ reciprocal , interacting readymade”), as a somewhat unclear basic idea formulated by Duchamp for all readymades “the idea of ​​the interaction between art and everyday life”, which he put on paper between 1911 and 1915: “Reciprocal Readymade: Use a Rembrandt as an ironing board. "(German:" Reciprocal Readymade: You use a Rembrandt as an ironing board. ") Duchamp published the notes in 1934 in the Green Box (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) .


  • Matthias Bunge: From ready-made to fat corner. Beuys and Duchamp - a productive conflict . In: Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (ed.): Joseph Beuys. Connections in the 20th Century , Darmstadt 2001, ISBN 3-926527-62-5 .
  • Dieter Daniels: Duchamp and the others. The model case of an artistic impact history in the modern age, Cologne 1992.
  • Thierry de Duve: Pictorial Nominalism: On Marcel Duchamp's Passage from Painting to the Readymade . University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1991, ISBN 0-8166-4859-X
  • Werner Hofmann : From imitation to the invention of reality. The creative liberation of art. 1890–1917, DuMont Schauberg, Cologne 1974, ISBN 3-7701-0487-0
    • English: Turning Points in 20th Century Art . Allen Lane Publ., London 1969.
  • Christian Kellerer: Objet trouvé and surrealism, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1968
  • Christian Kellerer: The leap into the void. Objet trouvé, Surrealism, Zen, Cologne 1982.
  • Francis M. Naumann: Marcel Duchamp - The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Harry N. Abrams, New York 1999, ISBN 0-8109-6334-5 .
  • Karin Pickel: The object as a new art form in the early 20th century . VDG, Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-929742-50-0 .
  • Willy Rotzler: Object Art. From Duchamp to the present, Cologne 1975.
  • WR Wendt: Ready-mades. The problem and the philosophical concept of aesthetic behavior presented to M. Duchamp, 1970.

See also

Web links

Commons : Ready-made  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Karina Türr : Color and Naturalism in Sculpture of the 19th and 20th Century. Mainz 1994, ISBN = 3-8053-1443-4, p. 26ff.
  2. ^ Stefan Hess: Schlöth, Ferdinand. In: Sikart ; Stefan Hess : Between Winckelmann and Winkelried. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86805-954-0 , pp. 132f.
  3. Lautréamont: Das Gesamtwerk, Reinbek 1988, p. 223.
  4. ^ Matthias Bunge: From the ready-made to the "fat corner". Beuys and Duchamp - a productive conflict . In: Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (ed.): Joseph Beuys. Connections in the 20th Century , p. 28.
  5. ^ The Fountain Archives , accessed July 10, 2015; also see Valentina Vlasic : Saâdane Afif, in: The Present Order is the Disorder of the Future , Series Museum Kurhaus Kleve - Ewald Mataré Collection No. 62, Freundeskreis Museum Kurhaus und Koekkoek-Haus Kleve eV (ed.), 14. July to September 15, 2013, p. 47; and Elena Filipovic, Xavier Hufkens: Sâadane Afif. Fontaines. Triangle Books, 2014, ISBN 978-2-930777-05-4 , pp. 19-22.
  6. Susanna Partsch : 101st most important questions - modern art , 2nd revised edition. Munich: Beck, 2016, ISBN 3-406-51128-7 , p. 56 ( preview ).
  7. Artur-Axel Wandtke (Ed.): Copyright , 4th edition, Berlin 2014 ISBN 978-3-11-031314-7 , p. 71 ( digitized version ).
  8. ^ Francis M. Naumann: Marcel Duchamp - The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Pp. 298-299.
  9. ^ Reciprocal readymade. toutfait.com, accessed August 15, 2010 .