Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Composition Trouvee

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Composition Trouvee

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Guillaume Bijl


Composition Trouvee

Creation Date


Medium & Support

mixed media on paper


91 x 143 x 47 1/2 in. (231.14 x 363.22 x 120.65 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of The Foundation, To-Life, Inc.

Accession Number



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This large-scale assemblage of found objects is the first work of installation art to enter the Museum’s collection. Since Marcel Duchamp anonymously submitted a signed urinal to the Society of Independent Artists in 1917 and titled it Fountain, artists have gleefully decontextualized everyday items and inserted them into exhibitions and art discourses. Bijl selected a range of objects from Europe and the United States for this work that has the appearance of a junk shop window display. Referencing the past as well as past notions of the future, at a time when the crumbling of the Eastern Bloc gave rise to the idea of the End of History (Francis Fukuyama), he envisions and illustrates the “archeology” of contemporary society. With Lazy Hardware (1945), Marcel Duchamp had already presented an installation as a window display in Gotham Bookmart, New York, to advertise the publication of André Breton’s book, Arcane 17.

Portfolios: FEAT|Contemporary Art