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Friday, August 17, 2012

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Wikipedia
BornJuly 28, 1887, Blainville-Crevon
DiedOctober 2, 1968, Neuilly-sur-Seine
EducationLycée Pierre-Corneille
SpouseAlexina Duchamp (m. 1954–1968), Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor (m. 1927–1928)

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

Duchamp was among the most significant figures in 20th Century art. Following a series of Impressionist landscapes and portraits, he contributed to, and greatly influenced, several artistic movements, including Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism. His Nude Descending a Staircase (1911; second version 1912) introduced motion to the painted image, inspiring the Italian Futurists. In 1915, Duchamp ventured to New York City, where he participated in Dada, along with Francis Picabia and Man Ray. His "readymades" transformed everyday objects into works of art by giving them new identities. Examples are Bicycle Wheel (1913; an "assisted readymade", featuring a bicycle wheel fastened to the top of a wooden stool), In Advance of Broken Arm (1915; a snow shovel),Fountain (1917; a men's urinal), Trap (1917; a coat rack, intended to be placed on the floor as a stumbling block) and L.H.O.O.Q. (1919; a reproduction of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, with the additions of a mustache and goatee). Between 1915 and 1923, Duchamp worked on The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Own Bachelors, Even, a major project on glass. Insisting it was incomplete for eight years, the artist finally declared the piece finished after it was accidentally dropped, thus creating a giant, spider web-like crack.

In 1923, Duchamp gave up painting in favor of his first love - playing chess. However, two years before his death, the artist unveiled a mixed media assemblage that had been created in secrecy over a period of twenty years. The Given: 1. The Waterfall 2. The Illuminating Gas (1946-66) features a large brick archway and wooden door. Through two small holes in the door, one can view the unsettling image of a nude female corpse, her legs spread open, lying ominously amongst leaves and brush. 

An honorary member of the Paris Surrealists, Duchamp contributed to the periodicals Littérature, Le Surréalisme au service de la révolutionand Minotaure, as well as participated in several group exhibitions during the 1930s. His impulsive nature, sense of humor, and automatic approach to object-making epitomized the spirit of Dada and Surrealism.


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KvRwbbgbME

  2. https://soundcloud.com/dave-randel/marcel-duchamp