Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Composition Trouvee 37083


Guillaume Bijl (Antwerp, Belgium, 3/19/1946 - )


Composition Trouvee

Creation Date



late 20th century


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

Creation Place

Europe, Belgium

Medium and Support

mixed media on paper

Credit Line

Gift of The Foundation, To-Life, Inc.


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

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.

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