“Junk Sculpture: With Dada roots in the collages of Kurt Schwitters, which were created from trash collected from the streets, junk sculpture first appeared in the United States in the 1950s works of John Chamberlain and Robert Rauschenberg. It is a type of assemblage sculpture in which the sculptor uses materials cast off by modern urban culture and reassembles them with little or no comment. Junk sculpture has affinities to Arte Povera in Italy and similar movements in other European countries where it took on more nostalgic tones.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.