Creating a Readymade Exhibition

The Big Idea:

How have rule-breaking artists changed how we make and view art?

Activity overview

Modern and contemporary artists often question traditional definitions of art through their work. Some artists have done things so differently—broken so many rules—that their work still makes viewers ask, 'Is this art?' In the first part of this activity, you will choose a readymade object to present as an artwork, create an object label for it, and present it to the class. In the second part, you will create a character sketch of an artistic alter ego.

Look closely

Click on each artist button at right to view detailed screens about the artist and his or her works. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and use the zoom tool to look closely at the works of art.

In this activity you will:

  1. choose your own readymade art object
  2. give it a title and write an object label for it
  3. present and discuss the artworks
  4. create an alter ego for yourself and write a character description
  5. present your work
  6. reflect on the definition of art

You will be graded on:

  1. classroom participation
  2. research notes and answers to artist-related questions
  3. originality of readymade
  4. object label
  5. alter ego character sketch
  6. written reflection

New terms:

alter ego, readymade