Bruce Conner's Assemblage Analysis

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Assemblage is characterized by a fascination with the debris of society, garbage, and unwanted materials that are not traditionally perceived as artistic materials. The artist arranges these materials on his or her chosen canvas as the mode of artistic production, rather than using conventional practices such as painting, drawing or sculpting. The California Assemblage artists were associated with the Beat Generation, who expressed disaffection with middle class life and challenged aspects of post-war American culture such as consumerism and conventions of beauty in their works. Bruce Conner’s Bedroom of 1959, found at the Orange County Museum of Art, is a mixed media work of art that exemplifies the ideals of the Assemblage movement. Conner‘s…show more content…
The eggs appear to be the only viable sign of life on the work of art. The pure white color of the eggs stands out against the brownish earth toned hues that encompass the majority of the work. While other materials on the canvas appear to be appropriated and transformed, the eggs remains untransformed and in pristine condition. In relation to American society, the eggs and nest are the only elements of work that we can presume will remain constant and unchanging in a culture that is ever changing and obsessed with the new. The fur at the bottom of the canvas, apart from the two eggs, is probably the only other salvaged material that appears to be unspoiled. Possibly referring to American culture’s obsession with the new, the fur represents the old world or the past–the exact opposite of the post-war sentiments. The fur, although coming from nature, has become repurposed as either a household or fashion accessory, and now for Conner’s artwork. For Bedroom, it acts as a textural juxtaposition for the eggs in the nest. The softness of the fur contrasts the roughness of the nest. It also operates as a contrast to the notion of life and death. The eggs symbolize life and fragility, while the fur once belonged to an animal that has presumably given its life to become a piece of accessory that has now been discarded by its

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