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Born:July 28, 1887France...(Show more)Died:October 2, 1968 (aged 81)Neuilly-sur-SeineFrance...(Show more)Founder:Société Anonyme...(Show more)Notable Works:“Bicycle Wheel”“Étant donnés: 1. La chute d’eau, 2. Le gaz d’éclairage”“Fountain”“Le i de la Vierge à la Mariée”“Mariée”“Nude to decrease a Staircase, No. 2”“Pharmacy”“The Bride Stripped ceiling by her Bachelors, even (The huge Glass)”...(Show more)Movement / Style:CubismOrphismSurrealismready-madeSection d’Or...(Show more)

Marcel Duchamp, in complete Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp, (born July 28, 1887, Blainville, France—died October 2, 1968, Neuilly), French artist who broke down the boundaries between works of art and everyday objects. After the sensation caused by Nude diminish a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), that painted few other pictures. His irreverence for standard aesthetic requirements led him come devise his famed ready-mades and also heralded an creative revolution. Duchamp to be friendly through the Dadaists, and in the 1930s he aided to to organize Surrealist exhibitions. He ended up being a U.S. Citizen in 1955.

Early years

Although Duchamp’s father was a notary the family members had an imaginative tradition stemming indigenous his grandfather, a shipping agent who practiced engraving seriously. 4 of the 6 Duchamp children ended up being artists. Gaston, born in 1875, was later well-known as Jacques Villon, and also Raymond, born in 1876, dubbed himself Duchamp-Villon. Marcel, the youngest that the boys, and also his sisters Suzanne, born in 1889, both preserved the name Duchamp together artists.


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When Marcel arrived in Paris in October 1904, his 2 elder brothers were currently in a position to aid him. He had done some painting at home, and his Portrait that Marcel Lefrançois shows him already in possession that a style and also of a technique. During the next couple of years, while drawing cartoons for comic magazines, Duchamp passed rapidly through the main modern-day trends in painting—Post-Impressionism, the affect of Paul Cézanne, Fauvism, and finally Cubism. That was just experimenting, seeing no virtue in make a habit of any one style. He was outside creative tradition not just in shunning repeat but additionally in not attempting a prolific calculation or regular exhibition the his work. In the Fauvist style Marcel painted few of his best early occupational three or 4 years ~ the Fauvist movement itself had died away. The Portrait the the Artist’s Father is a noteworthy example. Just in 1911 go he start to paint in a way that proved a trace of Cubism. He had actually then end up being a friend of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, a solid supporter of Cubism and of every little thing avant-garde in the arts. Another of his nearby friends was Francis Picabia, self a artist in the most orthodox style of Impressionism until 1909, as soon as he feeling the require of finish change. Duchamp mutual with the the emotion that Cubism was too systematic, also static and also “boring.” they both passed directly from “semirealism” come a “nonobjective” expression the movement. There they met “Futurism” and “Abstractionism,” i beg your pardon they had actually known before only by name.

To an exhibition in 1911 Duchamp sent out Portrait (Dulcinea), i m sorry was written of a collection of five almost monochromatic, superimposed silhouettes. In this juxtaposition of successive phases that the motion of a solitary body appears the idea because that the Nude to decrease a Staircase, No. 2. The main difference in between the two works is that in the previously one the kangaroo-like silhouettes can be distinguished. In the Nude, ~ above the various other hand, over there is no nude at all yet only a to decrease machine, a nonobjective and virtually cinematic impact that to be entirely new in painting.


When the Nude was brought to the 28th salon des Indépendants in February 1912, the committee, composed of girlfriend of the Duchamp family, refused to cave the painting. These men were no reactionaries and also were fine accustomed to Cubism, however they were unable to expropriate the novel vision. A year later on at the Armory show in new York City, the paint again was singled out from among hundreds that were same shocking to the public. Every little thing it was that made the job-related so scandalous in Paris, and also in brand-new York so significant a success, motivated Duchamp to stop painting at the period of 25. A widely held belief is that Duchamp presented in his work a dimension of irony, practically a mock of paint itself, the was more than anyone could bear and also that undermined his own belief in painting. The location alone was a joke that was resented. Even the Cubists walk their ideal to flatter the eye, but Duchamp’s just motive appeared to be provocation.

Farewell to art

In 1912, after ~ the Nude, Duchamp walk a couple of more paintings. Few of these, especially Le passage de la Vierge à la Mariée and also Mariée, both done in Munich, are amongst the best works the the period. Again they to be neither Cubist, no one Futurist, no one Abstract, however they to express Duchamp’s usual vision the the body regarded in that is inmost impulses.

There to be no question that together a artist Duchamp was on a footing v the many gifted. What he lacked was belief in arts itself, and he sought to replace aesthetic values in his brand-new world v an wild intellectualism opposed to the so-called common-sense world. As at an early stage as 1913 he began studies for an utterly awkward piece: The Bride Stripped ceiling by she Bachelors, also (The big Glass). For it, that repudiated totally what he called retinal arts and adopted the geometrical methods of commercial design. It ended up being like the blueprint that a machine, albeit a symbolic one, the embodied his principles of man, woman, and also love.

Like the Nude, The huge Glass was to be unique among works of modern-day painting. Between 1913 and also 1923, Duchamp worked practically exclusively on the preliminary studies and the actual paint of the snapshot itself. His bye to painting was by no means a farewell to work.

During this period a hit of genius led him to a exploration of great importance in modern-day art, the so-called ready-made. In 1913 he created the Bicycle Wheel, which was merely an ordinary bicycle wheel. In 1914 Pharmacy consisted of a commercial print of a winter landscape, come which he added two little figures storage of pharmacists’ bottles. It was practically 40 years before the ready-mades were seen as more than a derisive gesture versus the extreme importance attached to functions of art, before their confident values to be understood. V the ready-mades, contemporary art came to be in itself a mixture that creation and also criticism.

When civilization War I damaged out, Duchamp, that was freed from military service, to be living and also working in almost complete isolation. The left France for the unified States, wherein he had actually made friends with the Armory Show. When he landing in brand-new York in June 1915, that was invited by reporters together a famed man. His warmth reception in pundit circles as well raised his spirits. The wealthy poet and also collector Walter Arensberg i ordered it a studio because that him in his own home, whereby the artist immediately set to work-related on The huge Glass. He became the centre of the Arensberg group, enjoying a reputation the led to many offers from art galleries passionate to manage the functions of the artist of the Nude. He refused them all, however, no wanting to begin a permanent career as a painter. To support himself, he offered French lessons. He to be then, and also remained, an artist whose functions would have been sought after however who was content to distribute them complimentary among his girlfriend or to offer them because that intentionally small amounts. He aided Arensberg buy ago as many of his functions as might be found, including the Nude. They became a function of the Arensberg Collection, which to be left to the Philadelphia Museum the Art.

Besides The big Glass, on i beg your pardon he operated for eight more years until abandoning that in 1923, Duchamp did only a couple of more ready-mades. One, a urinal titled Fountain, he sent out to the very first exhibition that the society of independent Artists, in 1917. Although he to be a founder-member the this society, he had signed the occupational “R. Mutt,” and therefore it to be refused. His ready-mades had anticipated through a few years the Dada movement, i m sorry Picabia presented to new York City in the newspaper 291 (1917). As an echo of the movement, Duchamp helped Arensberg and also H.P. Roché to publish The blind Man, which had only two issues, and also Rongwrong, which had only one. Later, with the artist male Ray, he published a solitary issue the New York Dada in 1921.


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In 1918 he sold The huge Glass, which to be still unfinished, come Walter Arensberg. With the money indigenous this and also another painting, his last, he spent nine months in Buenos Aires, whereby he heard of the armistice and of the deaths the his brothers Raymond Duchamp-Villon and also of Apollinaire. In Paris in 1919 he stayed with Picabia and also established call with the an initial Dada group. This to be the chance of his most famous ready-made, a photo of the Mona Lisa through a moustache and also a goatee added. The act expressed the Dadaists’ scorn for the arts of the past, which in your eyes was part of the infamy that a civilization that had developed the horrors the the war just ended.

In February 1923 Duchamp stopped working ~ above The big Glass, considering that definitely and also permanently unfinished. Together the years passed, art task of any type of kind interested the less and less, however the cinema involved fulfill his satisfied in movement. His functions to this allude had been just potential machines, and it to be time for him to develop machines that were real, the worked and also moved. The very first ones were committed to optics and also led come a brief film, Anemic Cinema (1926). Through these and other products, consisting of “optical phonograph records,” the acted together a type of amateur engineer. The modesty the his results, however, to be a means by i m sorry he might ridicule the ambitions the industry. The rest of the time he was soaked up in chess playing, even taking part in global tournaments and also publishing a treatise on the subject in 1932.

Although Duchamp closely avoided art circles, he remained in call with the Surrealist group in Paris, written of numerous of his former Dadaist friends. Once in 1934 he published the Green Box, comprise a collection of files related come The huge Glass, the Surrealist poet André Breton viewed the importance of the painting and wrote the an initial comprehensive research of Duchamp, which appeared in the Paris magazine Minotaure in 1935. From the time top top there to be a closer association between the Surrealists and Duchamp, who helped Breton to organize every the Surrealist exhibitions indigenous 1938 come 1959. Just prior to World battle II that assembled his Boîte-en-valise, a suitcase include 68 small-scale reproductions that his works. Once the Nazis inhabited France, he smuggled his material across the border in the food of numerous trips. Eventually he carried it to brand-new York City, where he joined a number of the Surrealists in exile, including Breton, Max Ernst, and also Yves Tanguy. He was crucial in organizing the Surrealist exhibition in brand-new York City in October and November that 1942.

Unlike his co-exiles, that felt at home in America, where he had many friends. Throughout the war, the exhibition of The big Glass at the Museum of modern Art, new York City, aided to revive his reputation, and also a special worry of the arts magazine View was devoted to him in 1945. 2 years later he was ago in Paris assisting Breton with a Surrealist exhibition, yet he returned to new York City promptly and spent many of the remainder the his life there. After his marriage to Teeny Sattler in 1954, that lived an ext than ever in semiretirement, content with chess and with producing, together the spirit moved him, part strange and also unexpected object.

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This contemplative life was interrupted in around 1960, once the rising generation the American artist realized the Duchamp had discovered answers for numerous of your problems. Unexpectedly tributes came to him from everywhere the world. Retrospective reflects of his works were organized in America and Europe. Even more astonishing to be the replicas of his ready-mades created in minimal editions through his permission, but the biggest surprise to be still to come. After ~ his death in Neuilly his girlfriend heard the he had functioned secretly for his last 20 years on a major piece called Étant donnés: 1. La chute d’eau, 2. Le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas). That is now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and offers v two tiny holes in a hefty wooden door a glimpse the Duchamp’s enigma.