Unexpected Materials

CHAPTER 2: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Limited resources often yield creative breakthroughs. Such is the case with these works: here, you’ll find art made with everything from reused canvases found in the studio to random detritus found on the street. In each example, the artist has capitalized on the power of transformation, whether it be through rearrangement (as in Louise Nevelson’s Dawn’s Presence—Two Columns), or radical juxtaposition (Rachel Harrison’s Buddha with Wall). Ultimately, they reveal/illuminate how recycling existing materials can prove to be even more fruitful than starting from scratch.

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Image credit:
Antonio Berni
Retrato de Ramona [Portrait of Ramona], 1963 (detail)
Collage of collagraph prints
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of the Museum of Modern Art, 1982

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