Trophy I (for Merce Cunningham) (1959), collection: Kunsthaus Zurich
Robert Rauschenberg incorporated objects and materials he found on the street to make his early combines. Trophy I (for Merce Cunningham) (1959), for example, includes a beat up sign, poster fragments, and scraps of wood.
Volon (Cardboard), 1971, is my favorite among many [image via]
In the early 70s, Rauschenberg made a series of works out of used, altered, or dismantled cardboard boxes. He created editions with Gemini G.E.L. that meticulously simulated used cardboard, which he called Cardbirds. The Menil showed these Cardboards and related works, many of which had remained in the artist’s collection, in 2007.
David Hammons, Bliz-aard Ball Sale, 1983, photo: Dawoud Bey, via group a ok
In early 1983, David Hammons laid out several dozen snowballs on an Indian blanket and sold them, priced according to size, alongside the junk merchants and fences of Astor Place. Dawoud Bey came along to document the event, which, everyone seems to have reproduced the one shot over and over ever since. Here is a different angle that shows more of the work’s original context. It’s not clear that Hammons got any takers, or what happened to the snowballs and other materials from the piece.
via wnyc’s feature tied to Orozco’s 2009 MoMA retrospective
Before his 1998 show at Marian Goodman Gallery, “The Free Market is Anti-Democratic,” Gabriel Orozco had already been making artworks from shit he found on the street for several years. Mostly, he’d find or make a work, and then just take a picture of it. Like Island within an island, 1993 [above]
Penske Work Project installation shot, Marian Goodman Gallery, 1998-99
For the Penske Work Project, he rented a truck and drove around Manhattan, pulling things out of dumpsters and assembling them into a sculpture on the street just long enough to take a Polaroid. Then he’d throw the stuff in the truck and drive off. The photos served as instructions for reassembling the pieces in the gallery.
Here is Penske Work Project: CD Tube, 1998, a length of scrap pipe and a stack of CD jewelboxes, from Jerry Saltz’s review of the show. 1998-99 was a very tenuous time for digital imaging, it turns out. Our web history does not age well.
All of this was in my mind last night when I caught up with @therealhennessy’s tweets about making a sculpture on the street and trying to sell it via Instagram. He started out straight, with a found object.


Then he did something to it.


Powhida wanted to get a piece of that minimalist goodness, without the messiness of authorship:

Marina was readying to start dealing in pure, uncut aura:

Jayson remembered Jasper Johns’ dictum, that after you do something, you do something else:

Youngman is his own Dawoud Bey:


To no avail. Not even a Vine can help move this thing. But now we know the location:

He finally gave up.

I was about two hours late to the Twitter scene. [The kid had ballet.] And I am stunned. The man has millions of YouTube views and 11,000 Twitter followers, and not one of them has the critical sense to get off their ass and ante up a twenty to enter his discourse?

Finally, Jayson takes a twitter break from editing. I didn’t know if Powhida had made his move or not. I see there is hope. I scramble the troops. Powers is in Brooklyn. Everyone else is at Zwirner’s. But Kyle has just finished installing NADA, and so he hops on the train for me.

Hennessy’s suddenly publishing maps and shit, and I’m like, NOOO, this is not a DM, man! Ix-nay on the ap-may! My people are not in place yet!

Price drop:

BTW, did you see that map? That is Rauschenberg’s studio, people. Just down Lafayette Street from Hammons’ snowball stand.

Anyway, Kyle gets there, and the piece is there. And so he loads it into a cab. Kyle is basically amazing, and Powhida is bummed, and Musson is eating, and I am stoked. I’m picking that thing up this weekend, and will add installation shots when it gets back to its new home in DC.

Conservation notes with not so latent erotic connotations:

In my Paypal note, I asked Jayson if the work had a title. He said yes. It is Punk is dead. Art was never alive. If I said I never stressed about money that’d be a lie.
This is basically the best Frieze Project ever.

[2022 UPDATE: To mark the decoupling of this site from the site where this sculpture was realized, we replaced the Guyton in the corner with this fine Musson. Thank you, Jayson, for your vision and computations. (Maki Tamura scroll drawing in the background)]