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Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)

Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings: Prints by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Charles Camoin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Edmond Cross, Edgar Degas, Sonia Delaunay, Maurice Denis, André Derain, Susanne Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Jean-Louis Forain, Pauk Gauguin, Marie Laurencin, Edouard Manet, Pierre Matisse, Berthé Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Geeorges Rouault, Ker Xavier Roussel, Paul Signac, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice de Vlaminck, James A. McNeill Whistler, and others.

Drawings by Albert Besnard, Andre Barbier, Henri Edmond Cross, Jean-Louis Forain, Eva Gonzales, Marie Laurencin, Maximilien Luce, and Georges Rouault.

Hand-colored prints by Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Sonja Delaunay, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

For a review of the show that concludes, "Art exhibits in Madison rarely get this good," click review.
Marcel Duchamp was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, not so much for his art (he was more interested in the idea of art than in making art, and his actual oeuvre is fairly small compared to artists like Picasso, Miró, Matisse, or Chagall), but for the challenge that he threw out both to other artists and to the viewing public. For Duchamp, what an artist said was art was art, and he exhibited such objects as a urinal, a mounted bicycle wheel, and a reproduction of the Mona Lisa with a mustache. This attack on the artistic object was infuriating the many of his fellow artists as well as almost everyone in the audience of the first exhibitions where these wotrks were presented; they were crucial in impoprtance both to the DADA movement and to such neo-DADAists as Jasper Johns and many of the POP artists. As his notes on his "Ready-Mades" suggest, his ideas about the need for art to point beyond itself were also of interest to the Surrealists. Some excerpts (as printed in Hans Richter, DADA: Art and Anti-Art [NY: Oxford University Press, 1965]):
As early as 1913 I had the happy idea to fasten a bicycle will to a kitchen stool and watch it turn

A few months later I bought a cheap reproduction of a winter evening landscape, which I called Pharmacy after adding two small dots, one red and one yello, in the horizon.

In New York in 1915 I bought at a hardware store a snow shovel on which I wrote in advance in advance of the broken arm.

It was around this time that the word 'ready-made' came to my mind to designate this form of manifestation.

A point that I want very much to establish is that the choice of these 'ready-mades' was never dictated by aesthetic delectation.

The choice was based on a reaction of visual indifference with the total absence of good or bad taste . . . in fact a complete anaesthesia.

One important characteristic was the short sentence which I occasionally inscibed on the 'ready-made.'

That sentence, instead of describing the object like a title, was meant to carry the mind of the spectator towards other regions, more verbal. . . .

Bibliography: The bibliography on Duchamp is immense. I content myself with the folloowing items out of the many. Anne d'Harnoncourt and Kynaston McShine, ed., Marcel Duchamp [Munich] Prestel [1989]. This is a reprint of the 1973 exhibition catalogue for a show organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (see Freitag #2449). It contains essays by Michel Sanouillet and others, an introduction by Harnoncourt, and a bibliography by Bernard Karpel. For Duchamps life, see CalvinTompkins, Duchamp: A Biography (NY: Henry Holt and Co., 1996). For his oeuvre, see 60. Arturo Schwarz & Marcel Duchamp, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp (NY: Harry Abrams, 1970). For an introduction to the debate about Duchamp, see Rudolf Kuenzli & Francis M. Naumann, (editors). Marcel Duchamp, Artist of the Century (Cambridge/London: MIT Press, 1990), withtexts by B. Wood, A. Schwarz, F.M. Naumann, T. de Duve, W.A. Camfield, P. Read, C.P. James, G.H. Bauer, C. Adcock, H. Wohl, D. and Judovitz.
Obligation Monte Carlo. Color lithograph, 1938. As published in the Christmas 1938 issue of XXeme Siecle. C. 1200 impressions signed Rrose Selavy and Marcel Duchamp in the stone. The cover of the May 1999 issue of the Museum of Modern Art members' magazine reproduced the collage on which this work is based. Image size: 318x229mm. Price: SOLD
Marcel Duchamp, Obligation Monte Carlo reproduced on the cover of the May 1999 issue of the Museum of Modern Art members' magazine.
Marcel Duchamp, From the Green Box (New Haven: Readymade Press, 1957). First edition of these notes for Duchamp's The Bride. Limited to 400 copies designed by Henry Steiner in the Graphic Arts Department at Yale University 8vo, original pictorial cloth, dust jacket designed by Henry Steiner. Book: VG condition; Jacket: several small tears and is stained from adhesive tape. The first publication in English of a selection of 25 of Duchamp's notes from the Green Box, relating to the conception of his large glass, La Maree mise a nu, familiarly known as The Bride. The sections were carefully chosen, but arranged in no particular order, reflecting their random appearance in the original green boxes. A very fine copy of the scarce first book of the Readymade Press. Price: SOLD.

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