Multiple Materials

In Untitled 1961 (1961) and The Rose (1958-66) respectively, Lee Bontecou and Jay DeFeo built up the surface of their work in relief. Bontecou included saw blades, metal spools, wire, rope, and soot in her work; DeFeo embedded small objects such as a barrette, bottle cap, keys, and wire in the oil paint of The Rose.

Ask students to begin with a two-dimensional surface such as a wood panel or metal frame, and create a relief piece using art materials such as model magic, paint, paper, and wire, as well as small found objects.

Jay DeFeo (1929–1989), The Rose, 1958-66. Oil with wood and mica on canvas, 128 7/8 × 92 1/4 × 11 in. (327.3 × 234.3 × 27.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of The Jay DeFeo Trust and purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Judith Rothschild Foundation 95.170 © 2015 The Jay DeFeo Trust/Artists Rights Society(ARS), New York

Artwork made of metal and wood.

Lee Bontecou (b. 1931). Untitled, 1961, 1961. Welded steel, canvas, wire and rope, 72 1/2 × 66 × 24 3/4in. (184.2 × 167.6 × 62.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York purchase 61.41 © Lee Bontecou