martedì 9 agosto 2016

Marcel Duchamp (Blainville-Crevon, 28 luglio 1887 – Neuilly-sur-Seine, 2 ottobre 1968) ARTE/ANARCHIA

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp /maʁ'sɛl dy'ʃɑ̃/ (Blainville-Crevon, 28 luglio 1887 – Neuilly-sur-Seine, 2 ottobre 1968) è stato un pittore, scultore e scacchista francese naturalizzato statunitense nel 1955.

Considerato fra i più importanti e influenti artisti del XX secolo, nella sua lunga attività si occupò di pittura (attraversando le correnti del fauvismo e del cubismo), fu animatore del dadaismo e del surrealismo, e diede poi inizio all'arte concettuale, ideando il ready-made e l'assemblaggio.

Biografia

Nell'anno 1915 incontrò il fotografo e pittore statunitense Man Ray e la loro amicizia durerà tutta la vita. L'anno successivo fondò, con i mecenati Katherine Dreier e Walter Arensberg, la Society of Independent Artists.
Nel 1918 si trasferì a Buenos Aires, dove rimase fino alla metà dell'anno seguente, poi nel 1923 tornò a Parigi. A partire dal 1923, Duchamp diradò progressivamente la produzione artistica e per dieci anni si occupò quasi esclusivamente di scacchi, arrivando ad alti livelli (fu capitano della squadra olimpica francese, nella quale giocava anche il campione del mondo Alexander Alekhine). Decise di stabilirsi definitivamente a New York nel 1942 dove, nel 1951, fu indagato da Joseph McCarthy ma rimase al sicuro grazie a suoi «amici potenti». Nel 1954 sposò Alexina "Teeny" Sattler Matisse, che gli rimarrà accanto per tutta la vita.

L'opera

Il poeta messicano Octavio Paz ha mirabilmente riassunto l'essenza dell'attività di Duchamp: «le tele di Duchamp non raggiungono la cinquantina e furono eseguite in meno di dieci anni: infatti abbandonò la pittura propriamente detta quando aveva appena venticinque anni. Certo, continuò "a dipingere", ma tutto quello che fece a partire dal 1913 si inserisce nel suo tentativo di sostituire la "pittura-pittura" con la "pittura-idea". Questa negazione della pittura che egli chiama olfattiva e retinica (puramente visiva) fu l'inizio della sua vera opera. Un'opera senza opere: non ci sono quadri se non il Grande Vetro (il grande ritardo), i ready-mades, alcuni gesti e un lungo silenzio».

La pittura

« Il futurismo era l'impressionismo del mondo meccanico. [...] A me questo non interessava. [...] Volevo far sì che la pittura servisse ai miei scopi e volevo allontanarmi dal suo lato fisico. A me interessavano le idee, non soltanto i prodotti visivi. Volevo riportare la pittura al servizio della mente [...] Di fatto fino a cento anni fa tutta la pittura era stata letteraria o religiosa: era stata tutta al servizio della mente. Durante il secolo scorso questa caratteristica si era persa poco a poco. Quanto più fascino sensuale offriva un quadro - quanto più era animale - tanto più era apprezzato. La pittura non dovrebbe essere solamente retinica o visiva; dovrebbe aver a che fare con la materia grigia della nostra comprensione invece di essere puramente visiva [...] Per approccio retinico intendo il piacere estetico che dipende quasi esclusivamente dalla sensibilità della retina senza alcuna interpretazione ausiliaria.
Gli ultimi cento anni sono stati retinici. Sono stati retinici perfino i cubisti. I surrealisti hanno tentato di liberarsi da questo e anche i dadaisti, da principio. [...] Io ero talmente conscio dell'aspetto retinico della pittura che, personalmente, volevo trovare un altro filone da esplorare. »
Se Duchamp avesse realizzato solo le tele dipinte prima del Grande Vetro, si sarebbe abbondantemente guadagnato un ruolo di primo piano nella storia delle avanguardie storiche. Dopo una giovinezza influenzata dall'impressionismo, nel 1911, a ventiquattro anni realizzò i notevoli Corrente d'aria sul melo del Giappone, Giovane e fanciulla in primavera e Macinino da caffè, di gusto fauve. I celebri dipinti del 1912: Nudo che scende una scala, Il passaggio dalla vergine alla sposa, Sposa, La sposa messa a nudo dagli scapoli, segnano un passaggio importantissimo nella storia del cubismo e del futurismo, per lo studio del movimento, e allo stesso tempo chiudono definitivamente l'esperienza di Duchamp con la pittura comunemente intesa. Le tele "in movimento" (culminate nel Nudo che scende una scala, n. 2) potrebbero essere etichettate come futuriste, ma il contatto di Duchamp con questi artisti fu nullo, e l'unica ispirazione dichiarata era la cronofotografia di Eadweard Muybridge. Il trattamento del movimento nel futurismo era infatti ben lontano dagli obiettivi di Duchamp, che virò ben presto verso la Sposa e il suo mondo. Il resto dell'opera grafica sarà rivolto a schemi, disegni e studi per elementi del Grande Vetro, o variazioni sullo stesso tema (la Macinatrice di cioccolato (1913), Cols alités (1959), Il Grande Vetro completato (1965), ai disegni degli ultimi due anni, e a clamorosi gesti di "ritocco" come i baffi affibbiati alla Monna Lisa di L.H.O.O.Q. (1919).
Un'esperienza emblematica del valore della casualità nel pensiero dell'artista potrebbe considerarsi 3 stoppages étalon (3 rammendi tipo) del 1913 che esprime appunto l'uso pianificato e incondizionato di un procedimento aleatorio. In essa 3 fili di un metro ciascuno vennero fissati per sempre, mediante lacca, nelle tre diverse curve che essi assunsero, naturalmente e casualmente, una volta lasciati cadere da un metro d'altezza su di una superficie di stoffa blu. Quelle tre curve costituirono il profilo di altrettante sagome in legno conservate come "campioni" metrici: una unità di misura fissata per sempre da un evento istantaneo e casuale.
Come sempre, il più vasto e completo materiale interpretativo su Duchamp è fornito da Duchamp stesso, che durante la sua vita lavorò spesso a stretto contatto con i critici impegnati nel decifrare le sue opere, dispensando indizi e suggerimenti ambigui. A questi si aggiungono, nelle interviste, numerose prese di posizione estremamente nette riguardo al concetto di arte e alla pittura: tra le più famose, il rifiuto della pittura "retinica" o "olfattiva" (con riferimento all'odore di trementina) puramente superficiale, nata dall'impressionismo e proseguita con le avanguardie storiche cubiste e futuriste.

Il Grande Vetro

« Il Grande Vetro è la più importante opera singola che abbia mai fatto »
(Marcel Duchamp)
A partire dal 1915, Duchamp lavorò a La Sposa messa a nudo dai suoi scapoli, anche (traduzione di La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), chiamato anche Il Grande Vetro: questo "quadro" è formato da due enormi lastre di vetro (277 x 176 cm) che racchiudono lamine di metallo dipinto, polvere, e fili di piombo. Nel 1923, lo lasciò "definitivamente incompiuto". Il Vetro contiene e sviluppa tutta l'attività passata e futura di Duchamp, e nel tempo ha dato origine a una tale quantità di interpretazioni da farlo ritenere una delle opere più complesse e affascinanti di tutta la storia dell'arte occidentale. Durante un trasporto, subì dei danni consistenti, ma l'artista decise di non riparare l'opera proprio per dimostrare di accettare, complice del caso, la completa riassunzione-integrazione nell'opera del suo carattere inerziale di "cosa". L'opera può avere anche un'altra lettura: "La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires" si può leggere come "La Marie est mise à nue per ses céli-batteurs" cioè "Maria è messa nella nuvola dei propri trebbiatori". Maria messa nella nuvola sarebbe la Vergine e in effetti il Grande Vetro è diviso in due metà come nelle iconografie tradizionali in cui nella metà superiore una nuvola composta da tre quadrati sta per accogliere la Madonna. Dal 1954, è conservato al Philadelphia Museum of Art. La sua descrizione comincia dal nome: Duchamp prescrive di non chiamarlo "quadro", ma "macchina agricola", "mondo in giallo" o "ritardo in vetro". Se la seconda denominazione ha dato adito alle più disparate interpretazioni, la "macchina agricola" è un attributo facilmente riconoscibile, dalla "fioritura arborea" della Sposa ai complessi meccanismi di trebbiatura dell'"apparecchio scapolo". Tutta la complessa attività del Grande Vetro è descritta in dettaglio dallo stesso Duchamp (anche se in forma frammentaria, ermetica e allusiva) nelle due raccolte di appunti, la Scatola verde e la Scatola bianca.

La macchina celibe

La parte inferiore del Vetro è composta da un complesso meccanismo costituito dal mulino ad acqua, dalle forbici, dai setacci, dalla macinatrice di cioccolato e dai testimoni oculisti. Sopra il mulino è situato il "cimitero delle livree e delle uniformi", dove i nove stampi maschi rappresentano le diverse identità dello scapolo (Corazziere, Gendarme, Lacchè, Fattorino, Vigile, Prete, Impresario di pompe funebri, Capostazione, Poliziotto).
Questo mondo inferiore è il regno del molteplice (i nove stampi), della complessità e della materia: tutti gli elementi sono rappresentati in una rigida prospettiva, che accentua l'effetto di corporeità delle lamine metalliche. Lo scapolo, al suono delle sue litanie, "macina da solo la sua cioccolata": è identificato col "gas illuminante", che subisce una serie di complicate trasformazioni e passaggi di stato, secondo una "fisica divertente", passando attraverso i vari ingranaggi dell'apparecchio.

Nudo che scende le scale (n.2)

Realizzato nel 1912, il Nudo che scende le scale (n.2) sovverte le regole del Cubismo per arrivare ad una nuova ricerca della vivacità e del movimento. Duchamp non è dunque interessato alla rappresentazione di più punti di vista nello stesso momento, bensì alla descrizione dello stesso soggetto scomposto in più punti di vista, ma ripetuto in diversi momenti successivi, traendo ispirazione dalle recenti scoperte della cronofotografia di Marey. In questo modo, non solo l'artista risolve la più grande debolezza del Cubismo, ovvero l'estrema staticità, ma compie il primo passo verso un uso del mezzo pittorico che porterà alla sperimentazione astratta. La figura anatomica si scompone in piani e linee che lasciano solamente intuire la presenza ed il ritmico succedersi dei movimenti della figura, il quale è visivamente accompagnato da veri e propri segni iconici che lo rappresentano, come potrebbe accadere in un fumetto. La scala su cui si plasma la figura è pura forma, si innesta su se stessa, è contemporaneamente in salita ed in discesa, in infinito movimento, si fonde in una tautologica danza col soggetto, in un paradosso di Zenone in cui più la figura si divide, più sembra dividersi. L'opera fu rifiutata dal Salon des Independénts : la giuria si convinse che l'intenzione di Duchamp volgesse a prendersi gioco del Cubismo, adducendo come aggravante il fatto che il titolo avesse sembianze sin troppo “fumettistiche”. Nel 1913 l'opera fu inviata all'Armory Show di New York, dove fece scandalo e allo stesso tempo suscito l'ammirazione di alcuni artisti americani. Fu anche la vivacità del dibattito ad indurre Marcel a trasferirsi a New York nel 1917.

Etant donnés

Étant donnés è considerato il lavoro finale di Duchamp, sconvolse il mondo artistico che credeva che egli avesse abbandonato l'arte venticinque anni prima per dedicarsi unicamente agli scacchi. Egli ci lavorò segretamente per vent'anni nascondendo la sua esistenza anche agli amici più cari.

Fortuna di Duchamp e influenza sull'arte contemporanea

L'orinatoio Fontana (1917) e la Monna Lisa con baffi e pizzetto di L.H.O.O.Q. (1919), benché probabilmente travisati come semplici gesti iconoclasti, sono certamente tra gli oggetti più famosi dell'arte del XX secolo. L'influenza di Duchamp sugli artisti successivi, benché enorme e ingombrante, è molto mediata, tanto che non è facile riconoscere degli epigoni diretti. Di sicuro, il concetto di ready-made, insieme al problema del gesto dell'artista come "selettore" dell'oggetto d'arte, sono stati il punto di partenza per le varie forme di arte concettuale. Il ready-made è un comune manufatto di uso quotidiano (un attaccapanni, uno scolabottiglie, un orinatoio, ecc.) che assurge ad opera d'arte una volta prelevato dall'artista e posto così com'è in una situazione diversa da quella di utilizzo, che gli sarebbe propria. Il valore aggiunto dell'artista è l'operazione di scelta, o più propriamente di individuazione casuale dell'oggetto, di acquisizione e di isolamento dell'oggetto.

Morte

Marcel Duchamp muore il 2 ottobre 1968 a Neuilly-sur-Seine e viene sepolto nel cimitero di Rouen. Sulla sua tomba si può leggere l'epitaffio, composto da lui stesso: «D'ailleurs c'est toujours les autres qui meurent» ("D'altronde sono sempre gli altri che muoiono").

Note

  1. ^ «Duchamp, Ozenfant e io [Louise Bourgeois] ci conoscevamo già, ma ci incontrammo di nuovo quando fummo indagati da McCarthy nel 1951. Subimmo sorti diverse. Duchamp aveva amici potenti, quindi era al sicuro. Ozenfant era un uomo molto difficile, originale e indipendente. Se attaccato, attaccava a sua volta, come un bambino. Fu quindi espulso dal Paese. Ma io mi sono difesa. Fui interrogata varie volte dopo aver chiesto la cittadinanza. La mia linea di difesa era che non avevo a che fare né sapevo nulla dell'attività politica degli uomini con cui avevo una relazione. E per fortuna le donne avevano allora ottenuto almeno questo diritto: non ero considerata solo la moglie o l'amica di qualcuno. Ero Louise Bourgeois. E lo sono sempre stata.» (Distruzione del padre / Ricostruzione del padre. Scritti e interviste, pag.127, Louise Bourgeois, a cura di Marie-Laure Bernadac e Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Traduzione di Giuseppe Lucchesini e Marcella Majnoni, Macerata, Quodlibet 2009)

Bibliografia

  • Marcel Duchamp, Scritti, Abscondita, 2009
  • Arturo Schwarz, La Sposa messa a nudo in Marcel Duchamp, anche, Einaudi, 1974
  • Achille Bonito Oliva, Vita di Marcel Duchamp, Marani, 1976
  • Luber&Filsek, Was Marcel Duchamp an Alien?, Luber&Filsek edition, 2016
  • Serge Stauffer, Marcel Duchamp. Interviews und Statements, tradotto da Serge Stauffer. Ulrike Gauss (a cura di). Stuttgart, Graphische Sammlung Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; Ostfildern-Ruit, Edition Cantz, 1992
  • Jennifer Gough-Cooper, Jacques Caumont, Duchamp: Work and Life / Ephemerides on and about Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Sélavy 1887-1968, Thames and Hudson, 1993
  • Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp: a biography, Paperback, 1998
  • Octavio Paz, "Apparenza nuda - L'opera di Marcel Duchamp", Abscondita, 2000
  • Marc Decimo, La Bibliothèque de Marcel Duchamp, peut-être, Les presses du réel, coll. « L'écart absolu / Chantier », Dijon, 2002
  • Jean Clair, Marcel Duchamp. Il grande illusionista, Abscondida, 2003, ISBN 88-8416-061-8
  • Pierre Cabanne, "Marcel Duchamp artista culto del '900", Key Book/Rusconi, 2004
  • Marc Decimo, Marcel Duchamp mis à nu. À propos du processus créatif, Les presses du réel, coll. « L'écart absolu / Chantier », Dijon, 2004 ISBN 9782840661191
  • Marc Decimo, Le Duchamp facile, Les presses du réel, coll. « L'écart absolu / Poche", Dijon, 2005
  • Pierre Cabanne, "Ingegnere del tempo perduto. Conversazione con Pierre Cabanne. Marcel Duchamp", Abscondita, 2009
  • Carla Subrizi, Introduzione a Duchamp, Laterza, 2008, ISBN 9788842085348
  • Marc Decimo (dir.), Marcel Duchamp et l'érotisme, Les presses du réel, coll. « L'écart absolu / Chantier », Dijon, 2008
  • Bernard Marcadé, Marcel Duchamp. La vita a credito, Johan & Levi, Milano 2009.
  • numero monografico di Riga, n. 5, a cura di Elio Grazioli.
  • Paola Magi, Caccia al tesoro con Marcel Duchamp, Edizioni Archivio Dedalus, 2010, ISBN 9788890474804
  • AA.VV. , Marcel Duchamp,la peinture mème , Editions du Centre Pompidou , 2014 , Mostra 24 settembre 2014 - 5 gennaio 2015 , ISBN 978-2-84426-680-4

Filmografia

  • Anémic Cinéma, 1926
 Man Ray, 1920-21, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, gelatin silver print, Yale University Art Gallery

Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp (French: [maʁsɛl dyʃɑ̃]; 28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French, naturalized American painter, sculptor, chess player and writer whose work is associated with Cubism, conceptual art and Dada, although he was careful about his use of the term Dada and was not directly associated with Dada groups. Duchamp is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Duchamp has had an immense impact on twentieth-century and twenty first-century art. By World War I, he had rejected the work of many of his fellow artists (like Henri Matisse) as "retinal" art, intended only to please the eye. Instead, Duchamp wanted to put art back in the service of the mind.

Early life and education

Marcel Duchamp was born at Blainville-Crevon in Normandy, France, and grew up in a family that enjoyed cultural activities. The art of painter and engraver Émile Frédéric Nicolle (fr), his maternal grandfather, filled the house, and the family liked to play chess, read books, paint, and make music together.
Of Eugene and Lucie Duchamp's seven children, one died as an infant and four became successful artists. Marcel Duchamp was the brother of:
  • Jacques Villon (1875–1963), painter, printmaker
  • Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1876–1918), sculptor
  • Suzanne Duchamp-Crotti (1889–1963), painter.
As a child, with his two older brothers already away from home at school in Rouen, Duchamp was close to his sister Suzanne, who was a willing accomplice in games and activities conjured by his fertile imagination. At 8 years old, Duchamp followed in his brothers' footsteps when he left home and began schooling at the Lycée Pierre-Corneille, in Rouen. Two other students in his class also became well-known artists and lasting friends: Robert Antoine Pinchon and Pierre Dumont. For the next 8 years, he was locked into an educational regime which focused on intellectual development. Though he was not an outstanding student, his best subject was mathematics and he won two mathematics prizes at the school. He also won a prize for drawing in 1903, and at his commencement in 1904 he won a coveted first prize, validating his recent decision to become an artist.
He learned academic drawing from a teacher who unsuccessfully attempted to protect his students from Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and other avant-garde influences. However, Duchamp's true artistic mentor at the time was his brother Jacques Villon, whose fluid and incisive style he sought to imitate. At 14, his first serious art attempts were drawings and watercolors depicting his sister Suzanne in various poses and activities. That summer he also painted landscapes in an Impressionist style using oils.

Early work

Duchamp's early art works align with Post-Impressionist styles. He experimented with classical techniques and subjects. When he was later asked about what had influenced him at the time, Duchamp cited the work of Symbolist painter Odilon Redon, whose approach to art was not outwardly anti-academic, but quietly individual.

He studied art at the Académie Julian from 1904 to 1905, but preferred playing billiards to attending classes. During this time Duchamp drew and sold cartoons which reflected his ribald humor. Many of the drawings use verbal puns (sometimes spanning multiple languages), visual puns, or both. Such play with words and symbols engaged his imagination for the rest of his life.
In 1905, he began his compulsory military service with the 39th Infantry Regiment, working for a printer in Rouen. There he learned typography and printing processes—skills he would use in his later work.
Due to his eldest brother Jacques' membership in the prestigious Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture Duchamp's work was exhibited in the 1908 Salon d'Automne. The following year his work was featured in the Salon des Indépendants. Of Duchamp's pieces in the show, critic Guillaume Apollinaire—who was to become a friend—criticized what he called "Duchamp's very ugly nudes". Duchamp also became lifelong friends with exuberant artist Francis Picabia after meeting him at the 1911 Salon d'Automne, and Picabia proceeded to introduce him to a lifestyle of fast cars and "high" living.
In 1911, at Jacques' home in Puteaux, the brothers hosted a regular discussion group with Cubist artists including Picabia, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Roger de La Fresnaye, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Juan Gris, and Alexander Archipenko. Poets and writers also participated. The group came to be known as the Puteaux Group, or the Section d'Or. Uninterested in the Cubists' seriousness or in their focus on visual matters, Duchamp did not join in discussions of Cubist theory, and gained a reputation of being shy. However, that same year he painted in a Cubist style, and added an impression of motion by using repetitive imagery.
During this period Duchamp's fascination with transition, change, movement and distance became manifest, and like many artists of the time, he was intrigued with the concept of depicting the fourth dimension in art. His painting Sad Young Man on a Train embodies this concern:
First, there's the idea of the movement of the train, and then that of the sad young man who is in a corridor and who is moving about; thus there are two parallel movements corresponding to each other. Then, there is the distortion of the young man—I had called this elementary parallelism. It was a formal decomposition; that is, linear elements following each other like parallels and distorting the object. The object is completely stretched out, as if elastic. The lines follow each other in parallels, while changing subtly to form the movement, or the form of the young man in question. I also used this procedure in the Nude Descending a Staircase.
Works from this period included his first "machine" painting, Coffee Mill (Moulin à café) (1911), which he gave to his brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon. The Coffee Mill shows similarity to the "grinder" mechanism of the Large Glass he was to create years later.
In his 1911, Portrait of Chess Players (Portrait de joueurs d'échecs) there is the Cubist overlapping frames and multiple perspectives of his two brothers playing chess, but to that Duchamp added elements conveying the unseen mental activity of the players. (Notably, "échec" is French for "failure".)

Nude Descending a Staircase No.2

Duchamp's first work to provoke significant controversy was Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Nu descendant un escalier n° 2) (1912). The painting depicts the mechanistic motion of a nude, with superimposed facets, similar to motion pictures. It shows elements of both the fragmentation and synthesis of the Cubists, and the movement and dynamism of the Futurists.
He first submitted the piece to appear at the Cubist Salon des Indépendants, but Albert Gleizes (according to Duchamp in an interview with Pierre Cabanne, p. 31) asked Duchamp's brothers to have him voluntarily withdraw the painting, or to paint over the title that he had painted on the work and rename it something else. Duchamp's brothers did approach him with Gleizes' request, but Duchamp quietly refused. However, there was no jury at the Salon des Indépendants and Gleizes was in no position to reject the painting. The controversy, according to art historian Peter Brooke, was not whether the work should be hung or not, but whether or not it should be hung with the Cubist group.
Of the incident Duchamp later recalled, "I said nothing to my brothers. But I went immediately to the show and took my painting home in a taxi. It was really a turning point in my life, I can assure you. I saw that I would not be very much interested in groups after that." Yet Duchamp did appear in the illustrations to Du "Cubisme", he participated in the La Maison Cubiste (Cubist House), organized by the designer André Mare for the Salon d'Automne of 1912 (a few months after the Indépendants); he signed the Section d'Or invitation and participated in the Section d'Or exhibition during the fall of 1912. The impression is, Brooke writes, "it was precisely because he wished to remain part of the group that he withdrew the painting; and that, far from being ill treated by the group, he was given a rather privileged position, probably through the patronage of Picabia".
He later submitted the painting to the 1913 "Armory Show" in New York City. In addition to displaying works of American artists, this show was the first major exhibition of modern trends coming out of Paris, encompassing experimental styles of the European avant-garde, including Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism. American show-goers, accustomed to realistic art, were scandalized, and the Nude was at the center of much of the controversy.

Leaving "retinal art" behind

At about this time, Duchamp read Max Stirner's philosophical tract, The Ego and Its Own, the study of which he considered another turning point in his artistic and intellectual development. He called it "a remarkable book ... which advances no formal theories, but just keeps saying that the ego is always there in everything."
While in Munich in 1912, he painted the last of his Cubist-like paintings and he started "Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even" image, and began making plans for The Large Glass – scribbling short notes to himself, sometimes with hurried sketches. It would be over 10 years before this piece was completed. Not much else is known about the two-month stay in Munich except that the friend he visited was intent on showing him the sights and the nightlife and that he was influenced by the works of the 16th century German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder in Munich’s famed Alte Pinakothek, known for its Old Master paintings. Duchamp recalled that he daily took the short walk to visit this museum. Duchamp scholars have long recognized in Cranach the subdued ochre and brown color range Duchamp later employed.
The same year, Duchamp also attended a performance of a stage adaptation of Raymond Roussel's 1910 novel, Impressions d'Afrique which featured plots that turned in on themselves, word play, surrealistic sets and humanoid machines. He credited the drama with having radically changed his approach to art, and having inspired him to begin the creation of his The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even, also known as The Large Glass. Work on The Large Glass continued into 1913, with his invention of inventing a repertoire of forms. He made notes, sketches and painted studies, and even drew some of his ideas on the wall of his apartment.
Towards the end of 1912, he traveled with Picabia, Apollinaire and Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia through the Jura mountains, an adventure that Buffet-Picabia described as one of their "forays of demoralization, which were also forays of witticism and clownery ... the disintegration of the concept of art". Duchamp's notes from the trip avoid logic and sense, and have a surrealistic, mythical connotation.
Duchamp painted few canvases after 1912, and in those he did, he attempted to remove "painterly" effects, and instead to use a technical drawing approach.
His broad interests led him to an exhibition of aviation technology during this period, after which Duchamp said to his friend Constantin Brâncuși, "Painting is washed up. Who will ever do anything better than that propeller? Tell me, can you do that?". Brâncuși later sculpted bird forms, which U.S. Customs officials mistook for aviation parts and for which they attempted to collect import duties.
In 1913, Duchamp withdrew from painting circles and began working as a librarian in the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève to be able to earn a living wage while concentrating on scholarly realms and working on his Large Glass. He studied math and physics – areas in which exciting new discoveries were taking place. The theoretical writings of Henri Poincaré particularly intrigued and inspired Duchamp. Poincaré postulated that the laws believed to govern matter were created solely by the minds that "understood" them and that no theory could be considered "true". "The things themselves are not what science can reach..., but only the relations between things. Outside of these relations there is no knowable reality",Poincaré wrote in 1902. Reflecting the influence of Poincaré's writings, Duchamp tolerated any interpretation of his art by regarding it as the creation of the person who formulated it, not as truth.
Duchamp's own art-science experiments began during his tenure at the library. To make one of his favorite pieces, 3 Standard Stoppages (3 stoppages étalon), he dropped three 1-meter lengths of thread onto prepared canvases, one at a time, from a height of 1 meter. The threads landed in three random undulating positions. He varnished them into place on the blue-black canvas strips and attached them to glass. He then cut three wood slats into the shapes of the curved strings, and put all the pieces into a croquet box. Three small leather signs with the title printed in gold were glued to each of the "stoppage" backgrounds. The piece appears to literally follow Poincaré's School of the Thread, part of a book on classical mechanics.
In his studio he mounted a bicycle wheel upside down onto a stool, spinning it occasionally just to watch it. Although it is often assumed that the Bicycle Wheel represents the first of Duchamp's "Readymades", this particular installation was never submitted for any art exhibition, and it was eventually lost. However, initially, the wheel was simply placed in the studio to create atmosphere: "I enjoyed looking at it just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace."
After World War I was declared in 1914, with his brothers and many friends in military service and himself exempted, Duchamp felt uncomfortable in Paris. Meanwhile, Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 had scandalized Americans at the Armory Show, and helped secure the sale of all four of his paintings in the exhibition. Thus, being able to finance the trip, Duchamp decided to emigrate to the United States in 1915. To his surprise, he found he was a celebrity when he arrived in New York in 1915, where he quickly befriended art patron Katherine Dreier and artist Man Ray. Duchamp's circle included art patrons Louise and Walter Conrad Arensberg, actress and artist Beatrice Wood and Francis Picabia, as well as other avant-garde figures. Though he spoke little English, in the course of supporting himself by giving French lessons and through some library work, he quickly learned the language. Duchamp became part of an artist colony in Ridgefield, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City.
For two years the Arensbergs, who would remain his friends and patrons for 42 years, were the landlords of his studio. In lieu of rent, they agreed that his payment would be The Large Glass. An art gallery offered Duchamp $10,000 per year in exchange for all of his yearly production, but Duchamp declined the offer, preferring to continue his work on The Large Glass.

Société Anonyme

Duchamp created the Société Anonyme in 1920, along with Katherine Dreier and Man Ray. This was the beginning of his lifelong involvement in art dealing and collecting. The group collected modern art works, and arranged modern art exhibitions and lectures throughout the 1930s.
By this time Walter Pach, one of the coordinators of the 1913 Armory Show, sought Duchamp's advice on modern art. Beginning with Société Anonyme, Dreier also depended on Duchamp's counsel in gathering her collection, as did Arensberg. Later Peggy Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art directors Alfred Barr and James Johnson Sweeney consulted with Duchamp on their modern art collections and shows.

Dada

Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. It began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, spreading to Berlin shortly thereafter. To quote Dona Budd's The Language of Art Knowledge,
Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I. This international movement was begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name "Dada" came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to point to 'dada', a French word for 'hobbyhorse'.
The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. In addition to being anti-war, Dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.
Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. Key figures in the movement included Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Johannes Baader, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, Richard Huelsenbeck, Georg Grosz, John Heartfield, Marcel Duchamp, Beatrice Wood, Kurt Schwitters, and Hans Richter, among others. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art and Fluxus.
Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of antiart to be later embraced for anarcho-political uses in the 1960s and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism.
New York Dada had a less serious tone than that of European Dadaism, and was not a particularly organized venture. Duchamp's friend Francis Picabia connected with the Dada group in Zürich, bringing to New York the Dadaist ideas of absurdity and "anti-art". Duchamp and Picabia first met in September 1911 at the Salon d'Automne in Paris, where they were both exhibiting. Duchamp showed a larger version of his Young Man and Girl in Spring 1911, a work that had an Edenic theme and a thinly veiled sexuality also found in Picabia's contemporaneous Adam and Eve 1911. According to Duchamp, "our friendship began right there". A group met almost nightly at the Arensberg home, or caroused in Greenwich Village. Together with Man Ray, Duchamp contributed his ideas and humor to the New York activities, many of which ran concurrent with the development of his Readymades and 'The Large Glass.'
The most prominent example of Duchamp's association with Dada was his submission of Fountain, a urinal, to the Society of Independent Artists exhibit in 1917. Artworks in the Independent Artists shows were not selected by jury, and all pieces submitted were displayed. However, the show committee insisted that Fountain was not art, and rejected it from the show. This caused an uproar amongst the Dadaists, and led Duchamp to resign from the board of the Independent Artists.:181–186
Along with Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood, Duchamp published a Dada magazine in New York, titled The Blind Man, which included art, literature, humor and commentary.
When he returned to Paris after World War I, Duchamp did not participate in the Dada group.

Readymades

"Readymades" were found objects which Duchamp chose and presented as art. In 1913, Duchamp installed a Bicycle Wheel in his studio. However, the idea of Readymades did not fully develop until 1915. The idea was to question the very notion of Art, and the adoration of art, which Duchamp found "unnecessary"
My idea was to choose an object that wouldn't attract me, either by its beauty or by its ugliness. To find a point of indifference in my looking at it, you see.
Bottle Rack (1914), a bottle drying rack signed by Duchamp, is considered to be the first "pure" readymade. Prelude to a Broken Arm (1915), a snow shovel, also called In Advance of the Broken Arm, followed soon after. His Fountain, a urinal signed with the pseudonym "R. Mutt", shocked the art world in 1917[citation needed] Fountain was selected in 2004 as "the most influential artwork of the 20th century" by 500 renowned artists and historians.
In 1919, Duchamp made a parody of the Mona Lisa by adorning a cheap reproduction of the painting with a mustache and goatee. To this he added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul". This can be translated as "She has a hot ass", implying that the woman in the painting is in a state of sexual excitement and availability. It may also have been intended as a Freudian joke, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's alleged homosexuality. Duchamp gave a "loose" translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as "there is fire down below" in a late interview with Arturo Schwarz. According to Rhonda Roland Shearer, the apparent Mona Lisa reproduction is in fact a copy modeled partly on Duchamp's own face. Research published by Shearer also speculates that Duchamp himself may have created some of the objects which he claimed to be "found objects".

The Large Glass

Duchamp worked on his complex Futurism inspired piece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) from 1915 to 1923, with the exception of periods in Buenos Aires and Paris in 1918–1920. He executed the work on two panes of glass with materials such as lead foil, fuse wire, and dust. It combines chance procedures, plotted perspective studies, and laborious craftsmanship. He published notes for the piece, The Green Box, intended to complement the visual experience. They reflect the creation of unique rules of physics, and a mythology which describes the work. He stated that his "hilarious picture" is intended to depict the erotic encounter between a bride and her nine bachelors.
The piece was inspired by a performance of the stage adaptation of Roussel's novel Impressions d'Afrique which Duchamp attended in 1912. Notes, sketches and plans for the work were drawn on Duchamp's studio walls as early as 1913. In order to concentrate on the work free from material obligations, Duchamp found work as a librarian while living in France. After immigrating to the United States in 1915, he commenced his work on the piece financed by the support of the Arensbergs.
The piece is partially constructed as a retrospective of Duchamp's works, including a three-dimensional reproduction of his earlier paintings Bride (1912), Chocolate Grinder (1914) and Glider containing a water mill in neighboring metals (1913–1915), which has opened for numerous interpretations. The work was formally declared "Unfinished" in 1923. Going home from its first public exhibition, the glass broke in its shipping crate and received a large crack in the glass. Duchamp repaired it, but left the cracks in the glass intact, accepting the chance element as a part of the piece.
Until 1969 when the Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed Duchamp's Étant donnés tableau, The Large Glass was thought to have been his last major work.

Kinetic works

Duchamp's interest in kinetic works can be discerned as early as the notes for The Large Glass and the Bicycle Wheel readymade, and despite losing interest in "retinal art", he retained interest in visual phenomena. In 1920, with help from Man Ray, Duchamp built a motorized sculpture, Rotative plaques verre, optique de précision ("Rotary Glass Plates, Precision Optics"). The piece, which he did not consider to be art, involved a motor to spin pieces of rectangular glass on which were painted segments of a circle. When the apparatus spins, an optical illusion occurs, in which the segments appear to be closed concentric circles. Man Ray set up equipment to photograph the initial experiment, but when they turned the machine on for the second time, a belt broke, and caught a piece of the glass, which after glancing off Man Ray's head, shattered into bits.:227–228
After moving back to Paris in 1923, at André Breton's urging and through the financing of Jacques Doucet, Duchamp built another optical device based on the first one, Rotative Demisphère, optique de précision (Rotary Demisphere, Precision Optics). This time the optical element was a globe cut in half, with black concentric circles painted on it. When it spins, the circles appear to move backwards and forwards in space. Duchamp asked that Doucet not exhibit the apparatus as art.:254–255
Rotoreliefs were the next phase of Duchamp's spinning works. To make the optical "play toys", he painted designs on flat cardboard circles and spun them on a phonographic turntable. When spinning, the flat disks appeared three-dimensional. He had a printer produce 500 sets of six of the designs, and set up a booth at a 1935 Paris inventors' show to sell them. The venture was a financial disaster, but some optical scientists thought they might be of use in restoring three-dimensional stereoscopic sight to people who have lost vision in one eye.:301–303 In collaboration with Man Ray and Marc Allégret, Duchamp filmed early versions of the Rotoreliefs and they named the film Anémic Cinéma (1926). Later, in Alexander Calder's studio in 1931, while looking at the sculptor's kinetic works, Duchamp suggested that these should be called "mobiles". Calder agreed to use this novel term in his upcoming show. To this day, sculptures of this type are called "mobiles".:294

Musical ideas

Between 1912 and 1915, Duchamp worked with various musical ideas. At least three pieces have survived: two compositions and a note for a musical happening. The two compositions are based on chance operations. Erratum Musical, written for three voices, was published in 1934. La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires même. Erratum Musical is unfinished and was never published or exhibited during Duchamp's lifetime. According to the manuscript, the piece was intended for a mechanical instrument "in which the virtuoso intermediary is suppressed". The manuscript also contains a description for "An apparatus automatically recording fragmented musical periods", consisting of a funnel, several open-end cars and a set of numbered balls. These pieces predate John Cage's Music of Changes (1951), which is often considered the first modern piece to be conceived largely through random procedures.
In 1968, Duchamp and John Cage appeared together at a concert entitled "Reunion", playing a game of chess and composing Aleatoric music by triggering a series of photoelectric cells underneath the chessboard.

Rrose Sélavy

Rrose Sélavy", also spelled Rose Sélavy, was one of Duchamp's pseudonyms. The name, a pun, sounds like the French phrase Eros, c'est la vie, which may be translated as "Eros, such is life". It has also been read as arroser la vie ("to make a toast to life"). Sélavy emerged in 1921 in a series of photographs by Man Ray showing Duchamp dressed as a woman. Through the 1920s Man Ray and Duchamp collaborated on more photos of Sélavy. Duchamp later used the name as the byline on written material and signed several creations with it.

These included at least one sculpture, Why Not Sneeze Rrose Sélavy? (1921). The sculpture, a type of readymade called an assemblage, consists of a mercury oral thermometer, 152 white cubes (made of marble, but resembling sugar cubes), a piece of cuttlebone, and a tiny porcelain dish inside a birdcage.
The inspiration for the name "Rrose Sélavy" may have been Belle da Costa Greene, J.P. Morgan's librarian of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Following the death of J.P. Morgan, Sr., Greene became the Library's director, working there for a total of forty-three years. Empowered by the Morgans, she built the library collection, buying and selling rare manuscripts, books and art.[citation needed]
Rrose Sélavy and the other pseudonyms Duchamp used may be read as a comment on the fallacy of romanticizing the conscious individuality or subjectivity of the artist, a theme that is also a prominent subtext of the Readymades. Duchamp said in an interview,"You think you're doing something entirely your own, and a year later you look at it and you see actually the roots of where your art comes from without your knowing it at all."

Transition from art to chess

In 1918, Duchamp took leave of the New York art scene, interrupting his work on the Large Glass, and went to Buenos Aires, where he remained for nine months and often played chess. He carved his own chess set from wood with help from a local craftsman who made the knights. He moved to Paris in 1919, and then back to the United States in 1920. Upon his return to Paris in 1923, Duchamp was, in essence, no longer a practicing artist. Instead, his main interest was chess, which he studied for the rest of his life to the exclusion of most other activities.
Duchamp is seen, briefly, playing chess with Man Ray in the short film Entr'acte (1924) by René Clair. He designed the 1925 Poster for the Third French Chess Championship, and as a competitor in the event, finished at fifty percent (3–3, with two draws). Thus he earned the title of chess master. During this period his fascination with chess so distressed his first wife that she glued his pieces to the board. Duchamp continued to play in the French Championships and also in the Chess Olympiads from 1928–1933, favoring hypermodern openings such as the Nimzo-Indian.
Sometime in the early 1930s, Duchamp reached the height of his ability, but realized that he had little chance of winning recognition in top-level chess. In the following years, his participation in chess tournaments declined, but he discovered correspondence chess and became a chess journalist, writing weekly newspaper columns. While his contemporaries were achieving spectacular success in the art world by selling their works to high-society collectors, Duchamp observed, "I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art—and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position." On another occasion, Duchamp elaborated, "The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. ... I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists."
In 1932, Duchamp teamed with chess theorist Vitaly Halberstadt to publish L'opposition et cases conjuguées sont réconciliées (Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled), known as corresponding squares. This treatise describes the Lasker-Reichhelm position, an extremely rare type of position that can arise in the endgame. Using enneagram-like charts that fold upon themselves, the authors demonstrated that in this position, the most Black can hope for is a draw.
The theme of the "endgame" is important to an understanding of Duchamp's complex attitude towards his artistic career. Irish playwright Samuel Beckett was an associate of Duchamp, and used the theme as the narrative device for the 1957 play of the same name, Endgame. In 1968, Duchamp played an artistically important chess match with avant-garde composer John Cage, at a concert entitled "Reunion". Music was produced by a series of photoelectric cells underneath the chessboard, triggered sporadically by normal game play.
On choosing a career in chess, Duchamp said, "If Bobby Fischer came to me for advice, I certainly would not discourage him—as if anyone could—but I would try to make it positively clear that he will never have any money from chess, live a monk-like existence and know more rejection than any artist ever has, struggling to be known and accepted." Duchamp left a legacy to chess in the form of an enigmatic endgame problem he composed in 1943. The problem was included in the announcement for Julian Levi's gallery exhibition Through the Big End of the Opera Glass, printed on translucent paper with the faint inscription: "White to play and win". Grandmasters and endgame specialists have since grappled with the problem, with most concluding that there is no solution.

Later artistic involvement

Although Duchamp was no longer considered to be an active artist, he continued to consult with artists, art dealers and collectors. From 1925 he often traveled between France and the United States, and made New York's Greenwich Village his home in 1942. He also occasionally worked on artistic projects such as the short film Anemic Cinema (1926), Box in a Valise (1935–41), Self Portrait in Profile (1958) and the larger work Étant Donnés (1946–66). In 1943, he participated with Maya Deren in her unfinished film The Witch's Cradle, filmed in Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery.
From the mid-1930s onwards, he collaborated with the Surrealists; however, he did not join the movement, despite the coaxing of André Breton. From then until 1944, together with Max Ernst, Eugenio Granell and Breton, Duchamp edited the Surrealist periodical VVV, and also served as an advisory editor for the magazine View, which featured him in its March 1945 edition, thus introducing him to a broader American audience.
Duchamp's influence on the art world remained behind the scenes until the late 1950s, when he was "discovered" by young artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who were eager to escape the dominance of Abstract Expressionism. He was a co-founder of the international literary group Oulipo in 1960. Interest in Duchamp was reignited in the 1960s, and he gained international public recognition. In 1963, the Pasadena Art Museum mounted his first retrospective exhibition, and there he appeared in an iconic photograph playing chess opposite nude model Eve Babitz. The photograph was later described by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art as being "among the key documentary images of American modern art".
In 1966 the Tate Gallery hosted a large exhibit of his work. Other major institutions, including the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed with large showings of Duchamp's work. He was invited to lecture on art and to participate in formal discussions, as well as sitting for interviews with major publications. As the last surviving member of the Duchamp family of artists, in 1967 Duchamp helped to organize an exhibition in Rouen, France, called Les Duchamp: Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp. Parts of this family exhibition were later shown again at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris.

Exhibition design

Duchamp participated in the design of the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition, which was held at the Galerie des Beaux-arts, Paris. The show featured more than 60 artists from different countries, including approximately 300 paintings, objects, collages, photographs, and installations. The surrealists wanted to create an exhibition which in itself would be a creative act, and André Breton named Duchamp, Wolfgang Paalen, Man Ray, Salvador Dali, and Max Ernst to help him. At the exhibition's entrance he[who?] placed Salvador Dalí's Rainy Taxi, a work consisting of a taxicab rigged to produce a drizzle of water down the inside of its windows, with a shark-headed creature in the driver's seat, and a blond mannequin covered with live snails in the back. In this way Duchamp confronted guests entering the exhibition, who were in full evening dress.
Surrealist Street filled one side of the lobby with mannequins dressed by various surrealists. The main hall was a simulation of a dark subterranean cave with 1,200 empty coal bags suspended from the ceiling. The floor was covered by Paalen with dead leaves and mud from the Montparnasse Cemetery. In the middle of the grand hall underneath Duchamp´s coal sacks, Paalen installed an artificial water-filled pond with real water lilies and reeds, which he called Avant La Mare. Illumination was provided only by a single light bulb, so patrons were given flashlights with which to view the art (an idea of Man Ray), while the aroma of roasting coffee filled the air. Around midnight, the visitors witnessed the dancing shimmer of a scantily dressed girl who suddenly arose from the reeds, jumped on a bed, shrieked hysterically, then disappeared just as quickly. Much to the surrealists' satisfaction, the exhibition scandalized many of the guests.
In 1942, for the First Papers of Surrealism show in New York, surrealists called on Duchamp to design the exhibition. He wove a three-dimensional web of string throughout the rooms of the space, in some cases making it almost impossible to see the works. Duchamp made a secret arrangement with an associate's son to bring young friends to the opening of the show. When the formally-dressed patrons arrived, they found a dozen children in athletic clothes kicking and passing balls, and skipping rope. When questioned, the children were told to say "Mr. Duchamp told us we could play here". Duchamp's design of the catalog for the show included "found", rather than posed, photographs of the artists.

Personal life

Throughout his adult life, Duchamp was a passionate smoker of Habana cigars.
Duchamp became a United States citizen in 1955.
In June 1927, Duchamp married Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor; however, they divorced six months later. It was rumored that Duchamp had chosen a marriage of convenience, because Sarazin-Lavassor was the daughter of a wealthy automobile manufacturer. Early in January 1928, Duchamp said that he could no longer bear the responsibility and confinement of marriage, and soon thereafter they were divorced.
Between 1946 and 1951 Maria Martins was his mistress.
In 1954, he and Alexina "Teeny" Sattler married, and they remained together until his death.

Étant donnés

Duchamp's final major art work surprised the art world that believed he had given up art for chess 25 years earlier. Entitled Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau / 2° le gaz d'éclairage ("Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas"), it is a tableau, visible only through a peep hole in a wooden door. A nude woman can be seen lying on her back with her face hidden, legs spread, and one hand holding a gas lamp in the air against a landscape backdrop. Duchamp had worked secretly on the piece from 1946 to 1966 in his Greenwich Village studio while even his closest friends thought he had abandoned art. The torso of the nude figure is based on Duchamp's lover, the Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins, with whom he had an affair from 1946 to 1951.

Death and burial

Duchamp died suddenly and peacefully in the early morning of 2 October 1968 at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. After an evening dining at home with his friends Man Ray and Robert Lebel, Duchamp retired at 1:05 A.M., collapsed in his studio, and died of heart failure.
Duchamp was an atheist. He is buried in the Rouen Cemetery, in Rouen, France, with the epitaph, "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent" ("Besides, it's always the others who die"). Even in his death, Duchamp retained a sense of humor (a means for him of reaffirming his freedom, while undermining absolutes and certainties).[citation neede]

Legacy

Duchamp is considered by many critics to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and his output influenced the development of post–World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period. He challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and rejected the emerging art market, through subversive anti-art. He famously dubbed a urinal art and named it Fountain. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while remaining mostly aloof of the avant-garde circles of his time. He went on to pretend to abandon art and devote the rest of his life to chess, while secretly continuing to make art. In 1958 Duchamp said of creativity,
The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.
Duchamp in his later life explicitly expressed negativity towards art itself. In a BBC interview with Duchamp conducted by Joan Bakewell in 1966 Duchamp compared art with religion, whereby he stated that he wished to do away with art the same way many have done away with religion. Duchamp goes on to explain to the interviewer that "the word art etymologically means to do", that art means activity of any kind, and that it is our society that creates "purely artificial" distinctions of being an artist.
A quotation erroneously attributed to Duchamp suggests a negative attitude toward later trends in 20th-century art:
This Neo-Dada, which they call New Realism, Pop Art, Assemblage, etc., is an easy way out, and lives on what Dada did. When I discovered the ready-mades I sought to discourage aesthetics. In Neo-Dada they have taken my readymades and found aesthetic beauty in them, I threw the bottle-rack and the urinal into their faces as a challenge and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty.
However, this was actually written in 1961 by fellow Dadaist Hans Richter, in the second person, i.e. "You threw the bottle-rack...". Although a marginal note in the letter suggests that Duchamp generally approved of the statement, Richter did not make the distinction clear until many years later.
Duchamp's attitude was actually more favorable, as evidenced by another statement made in 1964:
Pop Art is a return to "conceptual" painting, virtually abandoned, except by the Surrealists, since [Gustave] Courbet, in favor of retinal painting.... If you take a Campbell soup can and repeat it 50 times, you are not interested in the retinal image. What interests you is the concept that wants to put 50 Campbell soup cans on a canvas.
The Prix Marcel Duchamp (Marcel Duchamp Prize), established in 2000, is an annual award given to a young artist by the Centre Georges Pompidou. In 2004, as a testimony to the legacy of Duchamp's work to the art world, his Fountain was voted "the most influential artwork of the 20th century" by a panel of prominent artists and art historians.

Three Duchamp brothers, left to right: Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon, and Raymond Duchamp-Villon in the garden of Jacques Villon's studio in Puteaux, France, 1914, (Smithsonian Institution collections)
Anonymous photographe
Marcel Duchamp, La Mariée
 Roue de bicyclette (Bicycle Wheel), 1913/1964
Duchamp created the (since lost) original in Paris in 1913. The Schwarz Gallery in Milan produced this replica under Duchamp’s supervision in 1964. It is the sixth version of this readymade piece
A bicycle wheel assembled onto a stool
Metal and painted wood, 126.5 x 31.5 x 63.5 cm
Specimen : Rrose
Signed Marcel Duchamp under the stool seat
Inscription engraved on a copper plate: Roue de bicyclette; Marcel Duchamp 1964, ex. Rrose/ Edition Galerie Schwarz, Milan
Purchased in 1986
AM 1986-286
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
 Les joueurs d'échecs (Chess Players), December 1911
Painted in Neuilly, France.
Oil on canvas, 50 x 61 cm
Signed, front, bottom right-hand corner: Marcel Duchamp / déc.11
Back: Marcel Duchamp / Les joueurs d'échecs / 1911
Purchased in 1954
AM 3329 P
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
Neuf Moules Mâlic (Nine Malic Moulds), 1914/1915
Broken in 1916, reframed by the artist between two panes of glass
A work in three dimensions
Glass, lead, oil paint, varnished steel, 66 x 101.2 cm
Inscription on the back: 1913-14-15 / 9 Moules Malic
Inscriptions on the back of each figure, from left to right: Cuirassier Gendarme, Larbin, Livreur, Chasseur, Prêtre, Croquemort, Policeman, Chef de Gare
Donation through tax settlement in 1997
AM 1997-95
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
 Fontaine (Fountain), 1917/1964
Ascribed title: Urinal
Duchamp created the (since lost) original in New York in 1917. The Schwarz Gallery in Milan produced this replica under Duchamp’s supervision in 1964. It is the third version
White earthenware, covered in glazed ceramic and paint, 63 x 48 x 35 cm
Specimen: Rrose
Signature on front: R.MUTT / 1917
Signature on back: Marcel Duchamp 1964
Purchased in 1986
AM 1986-295
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
Fresh Widow, 1920/1964
Duchamp created the original in New York in 1920. The Schwarz Gallery in Milan produced this replica under Duchamp’s supervision in 1964. This is the third version of this readymade
Assemblage
A miniature French window, wood painted blue and eight squares of black waxed leather on a wooden plate
Painted wood, leather
79.2 x 53.2 x 10.3 cm
Plate : 10.2 x 53.3 x 1.9 cm
Signed on the back of the table, in black ink: Marcel Duchamp 1964
On the back of the table, on a copper plate: Marcel Duchamp 1964 / Ex / Rrose / FRESH WIDOW, 1920 / EDITION GALERIE SCHWARZ, MILAN
Purchased in 1986
AM 1986-297
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
Rotorelief n°11 - Eclipse totale (Total Eclipse) / Rotorelief n°12 - Spirale blanche (White Spiral), 1935
Object
A cardboard disk. Colours printed by offset lithography
Diameter: 20 cm
First edition
Publisher: Henri-Pierre Roché, Paris
Front edge: ROTORELIEF No. 11-ECLIPSE TOTALE
Back edge: ROTORELIEF No. 12-SPIRALE BLANCHE-MODELE DEPOSE
Completes specimen AM 81-65-1057
Gift of Jacqueline Monnier in 2001
AM 2001-220
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
  La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Valise), 1936/1968
Paris (1936) - New York (1941)
A cardboard box covered in red leather containing miniature replicas of works, 69 photos, and painting facsimiles or reproductions, glued onto black folders
Red leather, cardboard, red fabric, paper, rhodoid (or mica)
40.7 x 38.1 x 10.2 cm
Open for display: 102 x 90 x 39.5 cm
Dated in 1968
Signature inside the box on the red fabric: Marcel Duchamp
On the back: of or by MARCEL DUCHAMP / or / RROSE SELAVY
Purchased in 1976
AM 1976-256
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
Prière de toucher (Please Touch), 1947
A breast on velvet, displayed behind glass. Boxed for the luxury edition of the catalogue of the exhibition "Le surréalisme en 1947", Maeght Gallery, Paris
Rubber foam [latex] glued onto black velvet, cut and glued cardboard
41.8 x 34.7 x 7.1 cm
Donated by Daniel Cordier in 1989
AM 1989-308
Entrusted to Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, since 1 March 2000
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / Adagp, Paris 2007
 Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912). Oil on canvas. 57 7/8" x 35 1/8". Philadelphia Museum of Art.
 Dessin original "avoir l'apprenti dans le soleil", signé Marcel DUCHAMP, peintre surréaliste et dadaïste (1887 - 1968)
Encre et crayon sur tracé de papier musique
Marcel Duchamp, Designs for Chessmen, (c. 1920). Ink, pencil, and relief printing on paper, 8 5/8 x 9" (21.9 x 22.9 cm) each, New York, Moma.
Marcel Duchamp, Bottlerack, 1961 (replica of 1914 original), Galvanized iron, 19 5/8 x 16 1/8 inches (49.8 x 41 cm), © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp, Pocket Chess Set, 1943, Leather, celluloid, and pins
6 5/16 x 4 1/8 inches (16 x 10.5 cm), Philadelphia Museum of Art.
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Sculpture-morte, 1959, Insectes, fruits et légumes en massepain collés sur papier, dans boîte en bois et verre, 33,8 x 22,5 x 9,9 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.
© Georges Meguerditchian - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris

Marcel Duchamp, 3 stoppages-étalon, 1913 - 1964, Fil, toile, cuir, verre, bois, métal, 28 x 129 x 23 cm,
Première réalisation à Paris, en 1913-1914. Réplique réalisée sous la direction de Marcel Duchamp en 1964 par La Galerie Schwarz à Milan
3 fils d'un mètre collés sur 3 bandes de toile peinte Bleu de Prusse, collées sur verre, règles à fixer, le tout dans un coffre en bois

“L’arte è una droga che dà assuefazione.”
È così per l’artista, per il collezionista, lo è per chiunque abbia a che fare con il mondo dell’arte. È quanto sostiene Duchamp, e chiunque si sia cimentato con il produrre opere d’arte (e non importa qui il grado di “valore” di tali opere) sa bene quanto impegnativo, coinvolgente e “nevrotico” sia questo tipo di attività. È proprio per evitare tali meccanismi, non solo personali ma sociali, che Duchamp evitò di produrre un numero elevato di ready-made.

Marcel Duchamp, 50 cc of Paris Air, 1949, Glass ampoule
Height: 6 inches (15.2 cm), Philadelphia Museum of Art



“Il ready-made non fu mai il risultato di un diletto a fini estetici.”
I vari ready-made che Duchamp creò, o meglio, che “scelse”, non rispondevano mai a un qualche particolare gusto estetico dell’artista, né dovevano apparire particolarmente graziosi. Il ready-made rispondeva a un’esigenza precisa sentita da Duchamp, un’esigenza che, al giorno d’oggi, si è manifestata in maniera decisamente accentuata in ambito artistico, mi riferisco alla volontà di non limitarsi più a realizzare esclusivamente opere su tela. Molti artisti, infatti, dal momento delle avanguardie storiche ad ora, hanno sperimentato un’enorme varietà di espressioni artistiche, tanto che il quadro spesso (non sempre) non è più stato considerato un campo di sperimentazione artistica.

Marcel Duchamp, Bouche-évier (Sink Stopper), 1967 cast of 1964 lead original
Bronze
3/8 x 2 ½ inches (1 x 6.4 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

“L’arte è un gioco tra artista e spettatore.”
Credo che questo sia un punto fondamentale del processo artistico. Il ruolo dello spettatore, sostiene Duchamp, ha la stessa importanza di quello dell’artista, sono i due poli imprescindibili dell’opera. Il compito dello spettatore, infatti, è quello di “interpretare” ciò che l’artista ha creato, è un processo estesico nel quale l’artista non può più avere voce in capitolo. I desideri, le aspettative dell’artista nei confronti di ciò che ha creato si dissolvono inesorabilmente di fronte alle possibilità culturali e interpretative di chi osserverà il suo lavoro. L’opera, in quanto sistema di segni, sfugge dalle mani dell’artista e diventa un bene della società, e la società, come dice Duchamp, “prende ciò che vuole”.

 Marcel Duchamp, Rotative plaques verre (Optique de précision), 1920 - 1979, Plexiglas peint, métal, bois, moteur électrique, 170 x 125 x 100 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.

“Per fare qualcosa di tuo, devi dimenticare ciò che hai imparato.”
È un assunto solo apparentemente contraddittorio. In ogni campo, infatti, e soprattutto in quello artistico, dopo la fase di studio segue il momento della ricerca personale. Vale a dire che, in arte (e forse non solo in arte), si inizia copiando quello che hanno fatto chi ti ha preceduto e, una volta, imparato, si trova il modo di rielaborare personalmente quanto appreso, arrivando anche a risultati talvolta assolutamente inediti. Inoltre, è spesso necessaria una certa distanza temporale da ciò che si è realizzato, per poterla valutare in maniera distaccata e critica.

Duchamp in his studio on 14th Street, New York (detail from a photomontage by Kiesler, Poème d'espace dédié à H (ieronymus) Duch'amp, published in View, Series V, n° 1, March 1945)

“Il caso è l’unico modo per evitare il controllo del raziocinio.”
La logica può essere un ingombro talvolta, soprattutto quando siamo alla ricerca di qualcosa di ancora inesplorato. La ragione non è il veicolo adatto per questo tipo di imprese.. Duchamp diceva: “il mio gesto di lanciare dei dadi non sarà mai uguale al tuo. Esso è una meravigliosa espressione del subconscio.”

Marcel Duchamp, Torture-morte, 1959, Mouches collées sur plâtre peint, dans boîte en bois et verre, 29,5 x 13,4 x 10,3 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.

© Jacques Faujour - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris

  “Ogni sistematizzazione diventa sterile molto presto.”
C’è un pericolo, infatti, nel voler per forza ordinare i risultati di quella ricerca a cui si è giunti faticosamente o per puro caso. La sistematizzazione va bene probabilmente per la scienza, ma non per l’arte (che ha, comunque, molti punti in comune con la scienza). Pensiamo solo, ci invita a riflettere Duchamp, alla Monna Lisa di Leonardo. Il semplice fatto di guardare a quel quadro in un museo, assieme a un numero eccessivo di persone (il che è dovuto al fatto che la Gioconda è ormai un’opera universalmente “famosa”, è socialmente riconosciuta, accettata, “sistematizzata”), va a discapito della possibilità di entrare in “intimità” con quel sorriso che il quadro ci mostra da secoli.

 Marcel Duchamp, Sculpture-morte, 1959, Insectes, fruits et légumes en massepain collés sur papier, dans boîte en bois et verre, 33,8 x 22,5 x 9,9 cm.
© Jacques Faujour - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris

“Rifiuto di accettare qualsiasi cosa, dubito di tutto.”
Duchamp aveva, per sua stessa ammissione, una “mente cartesiana”. E questa attitudine di dubitare di tutto, lo portò a produrre opere assolutamente personali, e dunque qualcosa verso la quale, avendola creata personalmente ex novo, non poteva nutrire nessun dubbio.

Marcel Duchamp, Rototoreliefs, reproduction/ reconstruction, 1955

“Non posso lavorare più di due ore al giorno, al massimo.”
Se c’è una cosa per la quale mi sento totalmente affine a Duchamp è la pigrizia!.. Comunque sia, questo era il suo modo di lavorare: non più di due ore al giorno, ma ogni giorno. E questo fu il suo approccio al lavoro artistico sempre, sia nell’ultima fase della sua attività che agli inizi. Due ore erano più che sufficienti per non correre il rischio di annoiarsi..

Marcel Duchamp, Tu m’, 1918, huile sur toile, goupillon, trois épingles de sureté et un boulon, 69,8 x 303 cm [Oil on canvas, with bottle brush, three safety pins, and one bolt, 27 1/2 x 119 5/16 in.], Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.

“Perché mantenere un’idea statica dell’arte?”
Duchamp, al di là della poetica futurista, fu uno dei primi a creare opere in movimento. Pensiamo, ad esempio, ad un’opera come Anémic Cinéma. Lo scopo, così come per i ready-made, era sempre lo stesso: superare l’idea del quadro come emblema e modello cardine dell’arte.

 Marcel Duchamp, La Boîte verte, (La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), 1934, Fac-similés sur papier et emboîtage de carton recouvert de suède vert, 33,2 x 28 x 2,5 cm, (Collaborateur : Ed. rrose selavy), Inscriptions : A l'intérieur de l'emboîtage : Cette boîte n° 73/300 doit contenir 93 documents (photos, dessins et notes manuscrites des années 1911-15) ainsi qu'une planche en couleur.
Ensemble de 94 fac-similés de photographies, dessins et notes (1911-1915) dans un emboîtage.
3 pièces jointes : un fac-similé supplémentaire de la note ‘Par la perspective’ (Sanouillet 6.3) ; un feuillet imprimé : 'Rrose Sélavy et moi estimons les ecchymoses des Esquimaux aux mots exquis’ ; un bulletin de souscription (feuillet double)

 “Perché l’uomo dovrebbe lavorare per vivere?”
E qui lascio la parola direttamente a Duchamp: “dopotutto l’uomo si è ritrovato sulla terra senza il suo permesso… Dobbiamo lavorare per respirare, non vedo perché la cosa debba essere tanto ammirevole. Io riesco a concepire perfettamente una società dove anche i pigri hanno il loro posto al sole…”

Marcel Duchamp, Boîte alerte (Emergency Box) Deluxe edition of catalogue for Exposition internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris, 1959-60, 1959, Cardboard box containing paperbound catalogue and ephemera, postcards, notes, envelopes, portfolio of artists’ prints, printed nylon stocking, and 45 rpm record
Box: 11 ¼ x 7 1/8 x 2 ½ inches (28.6 x 18.1 x 6.4 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Non c'è soluzione perchè non c'è alcun problema.

Marcel Duchamp, Première recherche pour ‘La mariée mise à nu par les célibataires’, Mine graphite et encre sur carton, 24 x 32 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.
© Philippe Migeat - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris


I pezzi degli scacchi sono l'alfabeto che plasma i pensieri, e questi pensieri esprimono la bellezza astrattamente.

Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968), Not a Shoe, 1950, Plâtre galvanisé, 7 x 5,1 x 2,5 cm, Paris Centre Pompidou.
© Philippe Migeat - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris
 
 
Ho avuto l'intento di spostare l'attenzione e l'interpretazione artistiche dall'aspetto fisico a quello intellettuale.

[Sulla sua opera "Fontana"]


 Marcel Duchamp, Feuille de vigne femelle, (Female Fig Leaf), 1950 - 1951, Plâtre peint en vert, 8,5 x 13 x 11,5 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.
© (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris

 Gli scacchi sono uno sport. Uno sport violento che comporta connotazioni artistiche negli schemi geometrici e nelle variazioni della disposizione dei pezzi, così come nelle combinazioni, nella tattica, nella strategia e nella posizione. È un'esperienza triste, però, qualcosa di simile all'arte religiosa.

 Marcel Duchamp, Rotorelief Eclipse totale/Spirale blanche,1953 - 1965, Disque en carton imprimé en couleurs par lithographie offset, Diamètre : 20 cm, Paris Centre Pompidou.
© Georges Meguerditchian - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI (diffusion RMN)
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ Adagp, Paris

In the 'Nude Descending a Staircase,' I wanted to create a static image of movement: movement is an abstraction, a deduction articulated within the painting, without our knowing if a real person is or isn't descending an equally real staircase. 
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Anémic cinéma, 1925 [durée 7’. Assistance technique : Man Ray et Marc Allégret], film 35 mm en noir et blanc silencieux, Paris, musée national d’Art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou

 Dada was an extreme protest against the physical side of painting. It was a metaphysical attitude. 
Marcel Duchamp

 Marcel Duchamp, Anémic cinéma, 1925, Film cinématographique 35 mm noir et blanc, muet, (Assistance technique : Man Ray et Marc Allégret)
Le film alterne dix disques optiques réalisés en 1923 et neuf contrepétries en spirale
Centre Pompidou, Paris.

 Marcel, no more painting; go get a job.
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Trébuchet (Trap), 1917-1964, Bois, métal, 19 x 100 x 13 cm. L'original, perdu, a été réalisé en 1917 à New York. La réplique a été réalisée sous la direction de Marcel Duchamp par la Galerie Schwarz en juin 1964 et constitue la 2e version
Paris, Centre Pompidou

 Can works be made which are not 'of art'?
Marcel Duchamp

 Marcel Duchamp, À la manière de Paul Devaux, 1942, Collection Arturo Schwarz, Milan.

 There does not exist a painter who knows himself or knows what he is doing.
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, To Be Looked at (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour, Buenos Aires 1918. Oil, silver leaf, lead wire, and magnifying lens on glass (cracked), mounted between panes of glass in a standing metal frame, 20 1/8 x 16 ¼ x 1 ½" (51 x 41.2 x 3.7 cm), on painted wood base, 1 7/8 x 17 7/8 x 4 ½" (4.8 x 45.3 x 11.4 cm), Overall 22" (55.8 cm) high.
New York, MOMA.

Art doesn't interest me. Only artists interest me.
 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Hat Rack (Porte-chapeaux), 1917 - 1964, Bois, 46 x 46 x 29 cm
L'original, perdu, a été réalisé à New York en 1917. La réplique a été réalisée en juin 1964 sous la direction de Marcel Duchamp, à partir d'une photo de l'original, par la Galerie Schwarz à Milan, et constitue la 2e version.
Porte-chapeaux suspendu au plafond


What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It's not what you see that is art; art is the gap. 
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy ?, 1921 - 1964, Métal, marbre, thermomètre, os de seiche, 11,5 x 22,2 x 16 cm
L'original a été réalisé à New York en 1921. La réplique a été réalisée sous la direction de Marcel Duchamp en 1964 par la Galerie Schwarz, Milan et constitue la 3e version de ce Ready-made.
Cage à oiseaux en métal peint, 151 cubes de marbre, thermomètre et un os de seiche, 2 petits récipients ronds en céramique blanche

Everything important that I have done can be put into a little suitcase. 
Marcel Duchamp 

Marcel Duchamp, “A regarder d'un œil, de près, pendant presque une heure”, in 391, No. 13 (Paris, July 1920), p. 1.

There was an incident, in 1912, which 'gave me a turn,' so to speak: when I brought the 'Nude Descending a Staircase' to the Independants, and they asked me to withdraw it before the opening. 
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp,Peigne [Comb], 1916, readymade; peigne en acier , 3,2 x 16,5 cm, collection Louise et Walter Arensberg , Philadelphie, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Extrait deDuchamp du Signe: “Peigne ordinaire en métal pour chien sur lequel j'inscrivais une phrase absurde : ‘Trois ou quatre gouttes de hauteur n'ont rien à voir avec la sauvagerie’”

 I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art - and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel DUCHAMP, Belle Haleine [beautiful breath], photo of Rrose Sélavy by Man Ray, 1921.

I am interested in ideas, not merely in visual products.
 Marcel Duchamp 

 Marcel Duchamp and Sidney Janis, Dada 1916-1923, Sidney Janis, April 15 to May 9, 1953, 1953. Photolithograph, 37 3/8 x 24 ¾" (97.4 x 62.8 cm). Gift of the Sidney Janis Gallery, Moma, New York.

Alchemy is a kind of philosophy: a kind of thinking that leads to a way of understanding.
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Réseaux des stoppages étalon, (Network of Stoppages) Oil and pencil on canvas, 148.9 x 197.7 cm, 1914, The Museum of Modern Art, Ne York.


Living is more a question of what one spends than what one makes.
 Marcel Duchamp 

Marcel Duchamp,Traveler’s Folding Item, 1964 (replica of 1916 original), ready made underwood typewriter cover.

 “I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”
 Marcel Duchamp

 Marcel Duchamp, Rotoreliefs n° 1, 3, 6, 10, 1935, Disque en carton, imprimé en lithographie offset, Diamètre : 20 cm, Paris, Centre Pompidou.

 “All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with 'winning or losing this game of chess.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Glider Containing a Water Mill in Neighboring Metals, 1913-15, Oil and lead wire on glass, 59 3/8 x 32 15/16 inches (150.8 x 83.7 cm)
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

 “As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Chocolate Grinder (No. 2), 1914, Oil, graphite, and thread on canvas
25 ¾ x 21 3/8 inches (65.4 x 54.3 cm)
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

“The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. ”
 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, “Dada: 1916-1923,” Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, April 15 to May 9, 1953, Letterpress exhibition catalogue and poster designed by Duchamp; crumpled version, 38 ¼ x 24 ¾ inches (97.2 x 62.9 cm)
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

“I like living, breathing better than working...my art is that of living. Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral, it's a sort of constant euphoria.”
 Marcel Duchamp

 Marcel Duchamp, Piston de courant d'air [Draft Piston], 1914, Sérigraphie sur plexiglas, Épreuve signée, datée, titrée et numérotée 72/100, 28 x 23 cm.

 “Destruction is also creation.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1964 (replica of 1913 original), Wheel, painted wood, Diameter: 25 1/2inches (64.8cm) Base height: 23 ½ inches (59.7 cm), © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

“Do unto others as they wish, but with imagination.”
Marcel Duchamp

Victor Obstaz, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, 1953, Gelatin silver print, 13½ x 10½ in. (34.3 x 26.7cm), Titled, signed and dated on verso

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”
Marcel Duchamp

 Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp in Blond Wig, c. 1950, Collection Mr. and Mrs. James Geier, Chicago, IL

 “I feel shame, not for the wrong things I have done, but for the right things that I have failed to do.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Man Ray,Marcel Duchamp, c. 1920, Gelatin silver print, Image: 28.5 x 22.7cm (11 ¼ x 8 15/16in.) © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Arnold Newman, Marcel Duchamp behind his installation of “sixteen miles of string” New York, 1942 © 1942 Arnold Newman / Getty Images

 “What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.”
  Marcel Duchamp

 Marcel Duchamp aboard the Paris, New York, Feb. 26, 1927

“Art is not about itself but the attention we bring to it.”
  Marcel Duchamp

Hans Richter, Marcel Duchamp, 1940, silver print, 9 ½ x 6 ½ in

“If a shadow is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world, then the three-dimensional world as we know it is the projection of the four-dimensional Universe. ”
 Marcel Duchamp 

Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp with Turkish Coin Necklace on Forehead, Hollywood, 1949, Gelatin silver print, Image and sheet: 6 5/16 x 4 9/16 inches (16 x 11.6 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

 “The most interesting thing about artists is how they live”
 Marcel Duchamp, The Writings of Marcel Duchamp 

Christer Strömholm, Marcel Duchamp, Cadaqués, 1963
© Christer Strömholm/BVS

“Possible reality [is obtained] by slightly bending physical and chemical laws.”
 Marcel Duchamp

Irving Penn, “Marcel Duchamp, New York”, 1948, The Morgan Library & Museum

 “My idea was to chose an object that wouldn't attract me, either by its beauty or by its ugliness. To find a point of indifference in my looking at it, you see”
 Marcel Duchamp

 Man Ray, Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp), Gelatin silver print , 8 11/16 x 6 15/16 in., J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, © Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

“Among our articles of lazy hardware, I recommend the faucet that stops dripping when no one is listening to it.”
Marcel Duchamp 

Kay Bell Reynal, Marcel Duchamp playing chess in his studio, 1952, Photographic print : 1 item : b&w ; 22 x 20 cm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


 


 

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