Detritus

DEFINITION

Loose fragments that nature or carving has worn away from rock. Often, by extension, the material or debris resulting from the making of any work of art; the disintegrated or eroded material left behind by past civilizations. An example is the granite rubble which sculptor Gutson Borglum (American, 1867-1941) produced as he carved Mount Rushmore National Monument (completed Oct. 31, 1941). For aesthetic and practical reasons he decided to leave the detritus where it fell rather than remove it.(pr. də-TRI:-təs)Examples of relationships between works and detritus: Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Full Fathom Five, 1947, oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc., 50 7/8 x 30 1/8 inches (129.2 x 76.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. A MOMA curator reports: "An assortment of detritus, from cigarette butts to coins and a key, are enfolded by the paint. Though many of these items are obscured, they contribute to the painting's dense surface and churning sensation." Jacques de la Villegl? (French, 1926-), 122 rue du temple, 1968, a d?collage of torn-and-pasted printed paper on canvas, 62 5/8 x 82 3/4 inches (159.2 x 210.3 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. A MOMA curator wrote: "Villegl? has devoted his entire career to d?collage. He was affiliated with Nouveau R?alisme, a French art movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s devoted to transforming everyday objects and detritus into art in the belief that painting was incapable of conveying the actuality of postwar society."Also see clay, cleaning art, Collyers' Mansion, fragment, living rock, monument, palimpsest, rhopography, sand, shard, and stone.

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