Creative Reuse: From Tribeca to the classroom

Detail from "Aluminums / Aluminios" (2010) by Claudio Bravo. Oil on canvas. Exhibited for "Le Cabinet de Curiosités" at 6 Harrison Street, through January 31st

Thierry Despont, the architect, designer, and artist, has organized an exhibition which presents contemporary artwork alongside 18th and 19th century furniture and antiques. The exhibition, Le Cabinet de Curiosités, features the work of artists from Marlborough Gallery’s roster including  Despont, Manolo Valdés, and Claudio Bravo, as well as furniture from Steinitz Gallery in Paris. Bravo’s trompe l’oeil paintings are hard to resist from a creative reuse standpoint. Last year, one of our Creative Reuse Centerpieces for the Mayor’s Interfaith Breakfast incorporated foil in a way that is reminiscent of Bravo’s Aluminums / Aluminios (above). While Bravo made household objects seem present using oil on canvas, our centerpiece simply presented household found objects to remind students, teachers, and art educators that the supplies around them can be used to create art. See our centerpiece and more art inspired by found objects after the jump.

An MFTA centerpiece for the Mayor's Interfaith Breakfast in 2010

We can find direct inspiration in Despont’s assemblages, which are featured in the show, and incorporate objects that anyone could find around the house. ArtInfo.com describes these sculptures as “various unidentified animals and insects sculpted from a variety of household objects: workshop tools, farming equipment, [and] hollow gourds.” You’ll have to see the exhibition to see those sculptures, but you can see examples of Despont’s assemblage work on his website, click on TWD Artwork, then Masks. His masks are reminiscent of those seen last year at the Metropolitan Museum’s Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents.

Le Cabinet de Curiosités, organized by Thierry Despont for Marlborough and Steinitz galleries, is on view in the former headquarters of New York Mercantile Exchange, 6 Harrison Street, Tribeca, NY, through January 31, 2012.

Left: Detail from a mask by Despont; Right: Detail from a mask by Romuald Hazoumé exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum last year

Creative Reuse in the Classroom

At MFTA we promote the use of found objects in all artistic disciplines. We also encourage teachers and students to use found objects in their lessons. If the objects featured in this post have piqued your interest, consider enrolling in Creative Infusion: The Art of Reuse, a 30-hour course taught by Joy Suarez. The course explores how found objects and household items can be creatively reused in educational settings. Starting January 10th, DOE teachers can enroll in this course for “P” In-service credit, through NYCDOE After School Professional Development Program. To enroll as a non-credit participant, or for more information, click here.

This mask was created at MFTA using household items

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