Mediums and Messages: Los Angeles Assemblage and the Influence of Film and Media, 1970-1990


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Institute of Fine Arts (Art History)


This dissertation explores the paradigm shift that altered the content and structure of collages and assemblages made in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s. Whereas artists from the so-called California Assemblage movement in the 1950s and ’60s looked to Beat poetics for inspiration, artists such as Llyn Foulkes, Alexis Smith, and Ilene Segalove drew from the realms of fiction, film, and television, infusing their work with temporal associations, references to the genres and artificiality of Hollywood, and, most importantly, narrative explorations. By incorporating a study of narratology—the work of Gérard Genette, Roland Barthes, and Hayden White in particular—this project investigates how works by these artists both construct and subvert artistic and cultural messages.