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By Editor
posted: 04-29-12
If you want to see some interesting photos of Duchamp and his works go to Images include Duchamp and his wife, Teeny, with John Cage in 1968 playing electronic chess and an image, shown above of Duchamp in Andy Warhol's New York studio.   ...more

Alec Nevala-Lee, author inspired by Duchamp
By editors
posted: 03-03-12
Alec Nevala-Lee blogs about when the Duchamp inspiration struck: "While doing research on art history at the Brooklyn Public Library, I stumbled across the wonderful book Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? by James Elkins, who explores the issue of why we’re collectively drawn to interpret and ...more

What did Marcel Duchamp tell Bill Griffith?
By editors
posted: 02-17-12
Alan Bisbort in an interview with underground cartoonist Bill Griffith (a.k.a. Zippy) reveals details about Griffith's brief encounter with Marcel Duchamp when he was 19 years old. Griffith was a student at Pratt . He told the famed artist at the master's restrospective exhibition that he, Griff ...more

Duchamp's friend, John Cage, Celebrated
By editors
posted: 01-29-12
Steven Rosen, City Beat, writes that Carl Solway, recently celebrated his 50th year as a "gallerist" in Cincinnati.  Solway spoke to arts enthusiasts at Hamilton’s Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park about "the milestone" of his new exhibition on Marcel Duchamp's friend, Jo ...more

Marcel Duchamp on YouTube
By editors
posted: 01-26-12
If you search "Marcel Duchamp, artist" on YouTube, there are over 3,000 results. Video interviews with Duchamp are among the must-sees for any Duchamp fan. There are videos of artists whose work is inspired by Duchamp and videos of Duchamp playing or discussing chess. ...more

Portraits of Duchamp on Only Images
By editors
posted: 01-18-12
The web site, Only Images, has a good selection of photos of Marcel Duchamp. The site states:  "This [web site] is dedicated to the creators who have influenced my creative energy. To the people who have informed my art and moved me. Enjoy as much as I have." ...more

Marcel Duchamp's Exhibition History
By Tout editors
posted: 01-18-12 has published a useful list of exhibitions. "The following [list] is offered not as a complete list of exhibitions by Marcel Duchamp, but as a comprehensive selection intended to give a survey of his activities and the way his work came to be known. Invaluable sources for ...more

A La Duchamp, Jillian Mayer Chews Off Her Arms For Art Basel
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 12-06-11
The title of Jillian Mayer's video submission to Art Basel may be inspired by Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q., but her grotesque content certainly takes matters a step further. In H.I.L.M.D.A., a section from Love Trips: A Triptych on Love, Mayer chews off her own arms. Actually, she only ph ...more

John Morse and the Practical Art
By Julia Borden
posted: 12-04-11
Art, as Duchamp would have it, can be discovered both everywhere and nowhere in the world around us. Even the most mundane of objects can appear wondrous when an artist elevates their status, granting both title (or in some cases "untitled") and with it a world of implied significance. C ...more

Who Says a Sandwich Can't Be Art?
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 12-03-11
Of all the news posts you could have expected to see here at, you probably never imagined that a sandwich would gain our headline. Well, turns out one has. This jewel is composed simply of two pieces of toast containing butter, salt, and pepper (that's all folks); and, it has ...more

An Artist Meets a Composer at a Party...
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-29-11
For those interested in collecting trivia, Marcel Duchamp met composer Igor Stravinsky at a party in New York in 1966. As they parted, Duchamp turned to Stravinsky and said: "Maestro, see you in another 50 years." ...more

Huang Yong Ping and Xiamen Dada
By Julia Borden
posted: 11-28-11
Huang Yong Ping was one of the founding members of the Chinese Xiamen Dada group, inaugurated in 1986 with a series of provocative group exhibitions. Members of the group had accumulated bits of knowledge about the original Dada movement from miscellaneous books and magazines that could be found in ...more

Huang Yong Ping and Xiamen Dada
By Julia Borden
posted: 11-23-11
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John Cage's music for Marcel Duchamp
By Lucy Li
posted: 11-17-11
If anyone can be called the Duchamp of the music world, it's probably John Cage. As the grandfather of avant garde music, he pioneered irregular meter, indeterminacy and unconventional use of musical instruments. In 1947, he composed "Music for Marcel Duchamp", and we have a performance of it in the ...more

The Perfect Punch Line...
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-14-11
  In a recent blog entry, visual poet Geoff Huth wrote about the different ways that people come to experience art--when they’re standing directly in front of a painting.  Some of us might like to share every thought we have with our companions and devote long minutes to each and ev ...more

Read About Posthastism Post-Haste!
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-12-11
  There hasn't exactly been a shortage of art movements defined by manifestos that grapple with the role of "speed" in art creation or thought.  Take, for example, the Even Slower Poetry manifesto published on a Blogspot in June, 2009.  Here is a selection: But what can po ...more

"Air Art --Marcel Duchamp" by Peter Duggan
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-10-11
This week's Guardian Artoon by Peter Duggan features Marcel Duchamp in the punchline. We give it five stars here at ...more

How to find Duchamp in 2666
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-09-11
"The idea, of course, was Duchamp’s. --- All that exists, or remains, of Duchamp’s stay in Buenos Aires is a ready-made.  Though of course his whole life was a readymade, which was his way of appeasing fate and at the same time sending out signals of distress.  As Ca ...more

"Too Close to Duchamp's Bicycle"
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-07-11
What is Les Liens Invisibles?  Apparently, it is an “imaginary” partnership between a pair of Italian artists, Clemente Pestelli and Gionatan Quintini, who focus on creating net art subversive media based art.  They have been gaining notoriety an exhibition space in places like ...more

The Maharaja Come to San Francisco
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-05-11
When Man Ray photographed the Maharajah Yeshwant Rao Holkar II and his wife the Maharani Sanyogita Devi of Indore, he had to loosen them up by playing them jazz before he could capture their likenesses in the iconic photograph above and in numerous others.  The photograph will be displayed as ...more

PIcabia's Work Exhibited Next to Pieces of Classical Antiquity
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-04-11
  French Dadaist Francis Picabia’s work will be displayed, and contextualized, in conjunction with pieces from classical antiquity as part of an exhibit at Getty Villa called Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, Picabia in the Presence of the Antique.  The show hopes to inv ...more

Lady Gaga's Potty Art
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-03-11
Of course, the next person to create their own version of Marcel Duchamp's hundred year old Fountain (1917) for a publicity stunt is Lady Gaga. The infamous pop star, or self-titled "Fame Monster," she used Armitage Shanks, the title of her urinal sculpture, as an accessory at a photo ...more

Karla Black: Turner Prize 2011 Nominee
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-02-11
Scottish artist Karla Black’s work, exhibited at Saatchi Gallery and nominated for the illustrious Turner Prize this year, is sensitive to a tradition of performance much in the way Marcel Duchamp’s was.  Her audience is welcomed to experience her usually sprawling organic structure ...more

We're Moving into the Arensbergs'
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 10-01-11
Hot off the real estate catalog press: Hannah and Walter Arensberg's Upper West Side apartment, where Duchamp stayed in the summer of 1915, is for sale. is currently looking to purchase the home that saw the birth of New York Dada at the affordable price of 4.75 million dolla ...more

What's Duchamp Doing in Starbucks Anyway?
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 09-30-11
There are many artists, designers, and writers among others that are inspired or incited by Duchamp's work.  Richard Kegler is one of them.  In 1994, Kegler created the Duchamp typeface by scanning in samples of Duchamp's writing from Large Glass and distributed them on floppy disks to int ...more

From Cage's James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie: An Alphabet
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 09-21-11
In a couple of months, we will be attending a production of James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie: An Alphebet by John Cage at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (keep an eye out for a forthcoming review, or join us at the event on Friday November 11!). But i ...more

Alert: Duchamp CD Posted on
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 09-20-11
It's all in the title. For those who would like to listen to Duchamp read The Creative Act or by interviewed by the recently deceased Richard Hamilton, Duchamp's 2007 CD, The Creative Act, is now available for streaming on Of course, it's only free for a seven day trial ...more

Looking in the Large Glass
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 09-13-11
It's in London and it's called Large Glass. What could it be? Turns out, it' a freshly minted "gallop" shop. And a "gallop" shop turns out to be a gallery that also functions as a store, a gallery-shop that offers both a faster pace and objects for sale right beside the ...more

Gertrude Stein Autobiography Tops Time's 100 Best Nonfiction Books List
By Lucy Li
posted: 09-05-11
  Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas recently joined 99 hyped titles such as Freakonomics, Omnivore's Dilemma, Dreams from My Father, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Fast Food Nation in Time Magazine's new list of 100 Best Nonfiction Books. Many of these titles have ...more

Harold Bloom vs. the Avant-Garde
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 09-04-11
 "now marjorie [perloff] was giving a talk based on the  last chapter of her most recent book      the poetics of indeterminacy      the last chapter of which happens to deal  with john cage and with me      ...more

Are Cliches...
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-31-11
...just involuntary literary readymades? ...more

Daligramme Done by Lancel is at Galeries Lafayette
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 08-31-11
Did you know Salvador Dali created an eight character alphabet for his wife, Helene Dimitrievna Diakonava a.k.a. Gala, in the 1960s? He called the alphabet of love Daligramme, composing it out of redesigned and heavily stylized renditions of the letters G for Gradiva-Gala, D for Dali, and S fo ...more

Automatism B: It Was a Failsafe Mechanism for Spandex
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-30-11
It was a failsafe mechanism for spandex. All along, if spandex went awry something would be there to rein it in, or so they thought. But it wasn't true, except now it was. People came from Red Hook, Brooklyn to Fish-hook, Brooklyn, to Red Fish Brooklyn, and over to Scared-ville Queens, just to see i ...more

A Neo-Duchampian Catchphrase
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-30-11
"Hmmm. We do have a slogan for Benrik: 'Your values are our toilet paper.' Or in French: “Vos valeurs sont notre peru." --the creators of The Situationist App (touted as the first Marxist social media tool) ...more

Donald Judd or Cheap Furniture?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-29-11
Donald Judd can be quite spectacular. Out in Marfa, Texas for instance, where the minimalist sculptor purchased land, his giant stone boxes eerily offset the empty horizon and rustling waves of yellow grass: a cipher in the landscape. But some of his works do, truth be told, look exactly like cheap ...more

Picabia Was Also a Post-Impressionist
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-28-11
Francis Picabia, a good friend of Marcel Duchamp who would have been the cold-veined hitman if Dada had been an organized crime organization, is best known for his allusively erotic faux-machinic diagrams. He once splattered an inkblot on a piece of paper and called it a portrait of the Virgin M ...more

Bicycle the Last Artistic Transportation?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-27-11
"No other icon in sport or transport has retained such constant or potent significance [as the bike]. The car, once all open road and opportunity, now evokes the dystopia of Jeremy Clarkson and carmageddon. The train has surrendered its Brief Encounter romance to the absurdity of leaves on ...more

Daniel Spoerri's Multiplication d'Art Transformable
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 08-26-11
The following was written by critic Pierre Restany in 1966 for Daniel Spoerri's Edition MAT— which, for about a decade in the late nineteen fifties through the sixties, offered mass-produced and affordable works of art to the general public:(printed here thanks to Will Brand of Art Fag Cit ...more

"This is the Apocalyptic Nature of Our Modernity"
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 08-25-11
Part of our challenge here at is figuring out where to draw the boundaries for what is pertinent to the subjects of “modernism” and “avant-garde.”  Personally, I have always found the effort to narrow the historical or general “avant-garde&rdquo ...more

Ai Weiwei exhibition to open in L.A.
By Lucy Li
posted: 08-24-11
There are artists that break all the rules, and then there's Ai Weiwei. Activist Ai Weiwei's installation, "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads", is on exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until February. Although Ai will not be attending the opening of "Circle" b ...more

Bolano's Literary Prophecies: Breton Shall Return Through Mirrors
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-22-11
"Vladimir Mayakovksy shall come back into fashion around the year 2150. James Joyce shall be reincarnated as a Chinese boy in the year 2124. Thomas Mann shall become an Ecuadorian pharmacist in the year 2101.   For Marcel Proust, a desperate and prolonged period of oblivion shall b ...more

Quay Brothers' New Film Opens
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-21-11
The Quay Brothers, the experimental animators (of Street of Crocodiles fame) who sinisterly blur the line between animation and animism, are coming out with an eagerly awaited new production. It's to be based on swoon-inducingly grotesque Mutter Museum exhibition of alternative anatomy (which includ ...more

Of Being Numerous, No. 12
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-20-11
‘In these explanations it is presumed that an experiencing subject is one occasion of a sensitive reaction to an actual world.’   the rain falls that had not been falling and it is the same world   . . .   They made small objects Of wood and the bones of fish And ...more

Duchamp and the Paradox of Art Spaces, Even
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-19-11
In the vein of several recent posts of ours re: the relationship between the readymades and the power of institutions and centrality of art spaces: "post-Duchampian art-beyond-labor reveals itself, in fact, as the triumph of alienated “abstract” labor over non-alienated “creative” work. It is t ...more

Romania and the Avant Garde
By Lucy Li
posted: 08-17-11
Romania is not exactly the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of modern art, but exhibitions in Bucharest and Amsterdam are shedding light on this often overlooked center of the avant-garde.   The Amsterdam exhibition, “From Dada to Surrealism: Jewish Avant-Garde Artists i ...more

Duchamp and the Secret of the Object
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-16-11
Our last post included the following quote from the cultural critic Jean Baudrillard: "The obscenity of the commodity stems from the fact that it is abstract, formal, light in opposition to the weight, opacity and substance of the object. The commodity is readable: in opposition to the object, wh ...more

Secret, Object, Ecstasy
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-15-11
"Marx set forth and denounced the obscenity of the commodity, and this obscenity was linked to its equivalence, to the abject principle of free circulation, beyond all use value of the object. The obscenity of the commodity stems from the fact that it is abstract, formal, light in opposition to th ...more

Even the Exquisite Corpse Festival wonders...
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-14-11
...what "exquisite corpse taxidermy" means and why they have it. (Exquisite Corpse is a well-known Surrealist game in which one player draws on a piece of paper, folds over their drawing, and passes the paper to the next player, who repeats). The meaning of exquisite corpse music can be extrapolated ...more

Duchamp and the Infrathin
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-12-11
"In the wake of modernity we once again find ourselves in the abyss of the infra-thin, a concept that permeates Marcel Duchamp’s entire oeuvre, a shorthand label for his life-long desire to overcome the distance between Signifier and signified, thing and meaning, love and knowledge, inn ...more

The Looting Imperative
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-12-11
"Looting is a natural response to the unnatural and inhuman society of commodity abundance. It instantly undermines the commodity as such, and it also exposes what the commodity ultimately implies: the army, the police and the other specialized detachments of the state’s monopoly of armed ...more

Of Rhetoric and Modern Art
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-10-11
The onset of modernity, underpinned by the bourgeois revolution, saw art develop into a marketplace commodity sought by many. The critic's pen emerged partly as a substitute for the suspect taste of the buying public. The magazine n+1 recently printed an essay entitled "Against Reviews" ex ...more

The Art of Substitution
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-09-11
"A long freeze seems to paralyze the diners, substituting for the usual ice-cream which as it happens is bad for stomachs which have become so heated in the acrobatic juggling of happiness, alarming mushrooms and dynamic partridges..." -The Futurist Cookbook ("Gelato," or i ...more

Quotable Avant-Gardes: The Appetite and the Dish.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-08-11
"I am against all morals, against discipline. To be a painter, it is necessary to have guts [foi, liver], the sacred fire. Just like eating: first comes the appetite, then the choice of the dish." -George Braque ...more

Capricorn Bicycles Unrolls the Duchamp
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-07-11
Capricorn, a purveyor of steel bikes handcrafted by Minneapolis's Brad Wilson, now makes Duchamp and Selavy models intended to capture, natural, elegant Euro-style: "bikes on which you would never think to wear lycra." (Whether the designers at Capricorn are appraised of some of the truly ...more

A Comparative Analysis of Duchamp and Dr. Dre.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-06-11
"Neither Dre nor DuChamp were happy in their circles, however, so they formed new ones. Dre left Death Row and formed Aftermath, while DuChamp formed the Societe Anonyme. These would be the organizations the dudes would stick wit’. DuChamp continued exploring the relationship between the ...more

The Sartorialist Celebrates Man Ray's Contributions to Bondage Fashion
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-06-11
Calling this fashion season's dabbling in BDSM regalia a "perfect storm" of mainstream-meets-subversive, the Sartorialist has put out a photo-slide show documenting the influence of fetish culture on high style (and perhaps the reverse.) Among some of the most provocative entries are Ma ...more

Marjorie Perloff: Endgame and the "End of Art"
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 08-05-11
A bit ago, I posted a selection from Arthur Danto’s “The Physical Disenfranchisement of Art” in which he elucidated upon his conception for the “end of art.”  In her book, Radical Artifice, Marjorie Perloff continues in the vein of his initial investigation.  ...more

Thing/Thought: Fluxus at MOMA
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-04-11
Recently we covered the exhibition of editions at the Gallery Perrotin in Paris, which featured catalogs, multiples, and posters, by Takashi Murakami, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. The issue came up then as to whether and how the artist-signed reproductions, manufactured series, and microcosmic m ...more

Annals of the Surreal
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-03-11
"Lilliputia, the MIdget City: If dreamland is a laboratory for Manhattan, Midget City is a laboratory for Dreamland. Three hundred midgets who had been scattered across the continent as attractions at World's Fairs are offered a permanent experimental community here, 'a bit of old Nuremberg m t ...more

On Anamorphosis
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-31-11
"Distortion may lend all the paranoiac ambiguities, and every possible use has been made of it, from Arcimboldi to Salvador Dali. I will go so far as to say that this fascination complements what geometral researches into perspective allow to escape from vision. How is it that nobo ...more

The Art Terrorism Manifesto of Raymond Salvatore Harmon
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-31-11
Dig it. ...more

Hermetic Duchamp?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-31-11
"Marcel Duchamp had exhibited found objects as art with his famous urinal. But Duchamp’s art is hermetic, introverted, it doesn’t go out to the viewer. Rauschenberg’s reflects his own personality: it’s extrovert, generous, non-judgmental.” -Ealan Wingate, co-cu ...more

Surrealist Lab: Whose Unconscious? (Part 2)
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-29-11
In a recent post, "With A Lunatic Gesture We Forsook Jujitsu" (Automatism A), I tried my hand at some automatic writing. This was a practice codified by the Surrealists under the direction of Andre Breton, but its provenance dates to long before that. Its purpose has depended on the histor ...more

An Argument for Tactile Art
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-26-11
"It is clear that the liberative importance of the tactile resides in the fact that it can only be decoded in terms of experience itself: it cannot be reduced to mere information, to representation or to the simple evocation of a simulacrum substituting for absent presences." Kenneth Frampton (fr ...more

Physics Comes to the Defense of Modern Art
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-26-11
If Duchamp's "Standard Stoppages" lampooned the precise measuring systems of scientists, a Harvard mathematician is now doing something of the opposite for Jackson Pollack: rescuing him from the perception that abstract expressionists are just random paint-slingers. Through a close data analysis ...more

The Scent of Belle Haleine
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-24-11
Can the smell of Duchamp's famous perfume be reconstructed? The blog "Olfactory Art" tells all. Unfortunately, even OSX Lion doesn't come with scent-receptors. Time for Steve Jobs to team up with William Gibson... ...more

Picabia's 391, up for sale, sold.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-26-11
Francis Picabia's magazine, 391, showcased the one time dadaist's eroto-mechanomorphic diagrams and his anti-aesthete's wisdom. (It still exists in fact, in bastardized digital form Three of the more historical issues went on the market recently, and were offered for around $900 ...more

Indifference: the Musical Score
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-24-11
This composer and nonsense aficionado Gary Bachlund sets a short, meaningless verse (cited, or curated, by Douglas Hostfadter in his excellent Metamagical Themas), to a tongue-in-cheek arrangement of chromaticism and diatonic sextuplets. ...more

Surrealist Lab: In Search of Automatism (part 1)
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-24-11
In a recent post, "With A Lunatic Gesture We Forsook Jujitsu" (Automatism A), I tried my hand at some automatic writing. This was a practice codified by the Surrealists under the direction of Andre Breton, but its provenance dates to long before that. Its purpose has depended on the histor ...more

Cao Fei's "Whose Utopia"
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-22-11
Among contemporary world artists, the Guangdong new media and video artist Cao Fei is among the most intriguing explorers of the boundaries between the fantastical, the global/political and the everyday. Her recent work "Whose Utopia" unquestionably steals the show at the new Deutsche Gugg ...more

Painting with James Hyde and a Weekend at Mount Tremper Arts
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 07-21-11
Why painting?  Or, what is it exactly about the act of lathering, or perhaps even feathering or spilling, paint upon a surface that has intrigued artists, critics, thinkers, and aesthetes alike for thousands of years?  And whatever that origin may be, does it grip us in the same way today, ...more

An Interesting Critique of John Cage
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-17-11
"Music is sound. Some sounds may be music. Silence is the medium in which sounds and music are expressed. Spare me the next crackpot offering of themes and variations on silence. The deaf have ways of understanding sound and appreciating music. Tell me how you would convey the artisitic mer ...more

With A Lunatic Gesture We Forsook Jujistsu (Automatism A)
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-15-11
With a lunatic gesture we forsook jujitsu. Etwas unterscheiden zwischen werden Erde gesehen. The politics of underwriting that I have reclaimed, forsooth my shakespearean liege, a league embedded in the first strategy when I set out for champions, however it may have otherwise seemed. When the nativ ...more

Secrets of 20th Century Music
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-15-11
  "One of the things that people don't realize about Dad's kind of music is, when you replace a C-sharp with a gunshot, it has to be a C-sharp gunshot or it sounds awful." Spike Jonze Jr., as quoted by Thomas Pynchon ...more

And The Nominees for Le Prix Marcel Duchamp 2011 Are...
By Lucy Li
posted: 07-15-11
Each year, one French artist is awarded the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp. It does not garner quite the media buzz as the Turner Prize does, but the nominees do get a chance to exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art of Lille for two months, and the winner will have his or her own exhibi ...more

How To Take A Duchamp Road Trip
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-15-11
Step 1: Drive to the Philadelphia Art Museum, see the Large Glass and peek like a pervert through the wooden wall at "Entant Donnes." Chuckle at puns like "Fresh Widow." Step 2: Drive around the rest of the country, looking at waterfalls, landscapes, women, bachelors, machines, ...more

Stephen Colbert Suggests Gitmo Might Be Conceptual Art
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-15-11
July 14th, 2011: Stephen Colbert proves yet again the edginess of his political satire, making his audience audibly uncomfortable with this strangely avant-garde speculation:   "It now occurs to me, could all of Gitmo, in fact be one giant art installation? Take our enemies from the ston ...more

Arthur C. Danto: on Hegel and Duchamp
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 07-14-11
Arthur C. Danto's conceptions of "the end of art" and "posthistoricism" were quickly adopted as catch-phrases and widely misunderstood by the art world of the eighties and nineties.  He did not mean, however, that art could no longer be made, accomplished, nor that any crite ...more

How a Situationist "Draws"
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-14-11
British architecture student Ji Soo Han recently made a "Situationist Drawing Device (shown below)" What exactly does this mean? Situationism, the brainchild of expressionist painter Asger Jorn and filmmaker Guy Debord (both accomplished theorists and provocateurs), was in many ways th ...more

Few Have Explored This Bewildering Territory
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-12-11
"The privileged realm located in the boundary-zone between the three fields of power, religion and semiotics...Few people have explored this bewildering territory (by definition a no-man’s land of imagination) with the same energy as René Magritte, the bourgeois surrealist dressed i ...more

Duchamp's Funeral
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-13-11
Duchamp's Funeral: posted by darksilenceinsuburbia. liked by structuredstructure. really liked by hyperbolicdude reblogged by yourlaughlinesareshowing. reliked by themasquerademind reposted by newjerseykeepmybones brought to you by the contemporary art blog. rebrought to you by marcelduchamp ...more

For The Reading List: Man Ray's Montparnasse
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-11-11
It’s no easy task for a work of history to dish all the gossip you want hear and still manage to seem culturally and sociopolitically substantial. Man Ray’s Montparnasse, by Herbert Lottman (2001) does just this. Suitable for the beach or the classroom, it manages to maintain the p ...more

Parisian Gallery Focuses on Multiples and Editions in New Show
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-09-11
Perrotin, a gallery on Rue Turenne, in Paris that represents Tatiana Trouve and Matthew Day Jackson among other top contemporary artists, is currently hosting a exhibition entitled "Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, and Takashi Murakami: A History of Editions." By way of inciting general refle ...more

Oops, They Did It Again
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 07-09-11
During the last hundred years or so there have been numerous attempts, successful and unsuccessful, by pranksters and artists alike, to leave their mark—in other words, urinate—on Duchamp’s upturned Fountain.  On the 17th of this month, the latest attempt aired on a Youtube ch ...more

Aren't You Bored By Duchamp's Legacy?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-08-11
“Aren’t you concerned that the dialectical equation of art and anti-art might have congealed into a perverse tautology, now that even the middle class collects its products? Aren’t you bored by the phoniness of a good part of Duchamp’s legacy? Don’t you feel the powerle ...more

Beyond Nude Chess: Eve Babitz Embodied Bygone L.A.
By Lucy Li
posted: 07-07-11
The photograph of Marcel Duchamp playing chess with a nude Eve Babitz has become one of most iconic images of the French artist. In a gallery filled with his works, a well-dressed, gentle-looking Marcel sits opposite a young, voluptuous woman. Her face retreats behind her bangs but her posture ...more

Eye Drawing: Paysant's Art Comes Directly From the Head
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-06-11
Bypassing the question of the technical skill of the artist was a long-standing target of the Dada and Surrealist movements, from Jean Arp's stochastic collages to Duchamp's readymades, to the "automatic drawing machines" constructed by Jean Tinguely. Perhaps ironically (though perhaps sui ...more

Lee Miller: More than a Muse
By Jordan Baum
posted: 07-05-11
The new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, titled “Man Ray / Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism,” showcases the long and complicated relationship between the two avant-garde artists. Bringing together the work of Ray, Miller and others from their close circle in an inter ...more

Games, Continued
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-03-11
"Games, which as operations are disjunctive, because they produce differentiating events, give rise to spaces where moves are proportional to situations. From the game of chess, an aristocratic form of the "art of war" which came from China and was brought by the Arabs into medieval W ...more

The Quotable Avant-Garde: On (Duchamp) Games and Pataphysics
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-03-11
  "The game is the Pataphysical overture to the world. The realisation of such games is the creation of situations. A crisis therefore exists, caused by the crucial problem which each Pataphysical adept must resolve: s/he must either apply the situlogic method and attack the condition ...more

Centuries Before Duchamp, Spanish King Elevated Chess Strategy to Occult Art
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-02-11
The deep affinity between chess and Marcel Duchamp is well known. It's not only that picture of him playing with a nude Eve Babitz, or the striking, abstract set he designed with his friend Man Ray, or even his official decision to abandon art production for a period of 20 years whilst cultivati ...more

How to Buy a Lawrence Weiner
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 06-30-11
If Hannah Weiner wrote a poetics that bore witness to a her schizophrenic environment, a spectacle of linguistic topologies, Lawrence Weiner—member of the Postminimalist Conceptualism movement from the 1960s with others including artists Robert Barry and Sol LeWitt—actively constructs hi ...more

Sometimes Conceptualist Photographer Jeff Wall Charted Crooked Path Past Duchamp
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-30-11
Today among the most prominent photographers exhibiting in the world, Jeff Wall has navigated a complex route towards the goal of making large-scale photography safe for top art museums. Along the way he has incorporated influences from classic photography (portraiture, documentary, photo-essay) ...more

An Epitaph for Immortality: Dali on Potsdamer Platz
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-28-11
After crumpling up that poster of The Persistence of Memory for post-college interior redecoration, the specter of an anti-Salvador Dali backlash presents itself. It's all too easy to decide that the wax-mustachioed Spanish showman was a commercial, cliched hype-machine and somehow your adolesce ...more

Virtual Duchamp and The Paradox of Art Spaces
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-26-11
Earlier this month I wrote about the journalist Yoav Sivan, who submitted a Duchampesque art concept to the Columbia Arts Initiative exhibition at Lincoln Center: calling his work "The Restroom of King Francis," he proposed to build a replica of the Louvre hall that contains the Mona Lis ...more

Dollar Store Project Pays Tribute to the Readymade in Texas
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-25-11
When Duchamp's confederate wrote in defense of Fountain that the only works of art America had given the world were its plumbing and its bridges, she might have been remiss not to mention the Dollar Store. This mini-mall staple is a bona-fide USA original: no other culture could have spawned the ge ...more

Augmented Reality Fertile Ground for Contemporary Surreal?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-23-11
Wired magazine's"Beyond the Beyond" blog has kept up a fairly good tally of forays into Augmented Reality, meaning technology-aided fusions of our virtual and terrestrial worlds. Past entries have included a "Top Owl" helmet offering synthetic digital visual aids for pilots, a ...more

The Color of Dreams
By Carol Berens
posted: 06-20-11
There is something about surrealism that inspires people to cast off their inhibitions, act out their dreams and fantasies, play with words, and invent bad puns. That is exactly what the organizers of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s major summer show, The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist ...more

Duchamp Mix Tape
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-20-11
McSweeney's Internet Tendency just published, as is their wont, an entire biography of Marcel Duchamp made only of pop single titles. (I'm listening to it now on Grooveshark.) How many of the references do you get? (By Dorothy Gambrell) Side A “Parisian,” Brent’s TV “Ho ...more

The Assemblage Alive and Well in, For Example, Virginia
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-19-11
Assemblage, or sculptural construction utilizing found or mixed materials, was one of the most radical genres invented by the early 20th Century Avant-Gardes. It became a staple of the output of such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Dada's Raoul Haussman, the Constructivist Vladmir Tatlin, and the America ...more

Yoav Sivan and The Restroom of King Francis
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-13-11
Yoav Sivan is not primarily an installation artist, but rather a journalist, who recently graduated from the Columbia Journalism School and has written about politics and gay rights for the Huffington Post, The Guardian, Haaretz and Moment Magazine. But he recently decided to enter the conceptualist ...more

Concrete Utopia, and a poem from the Editor
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-11-11
Concrete Utopia, a "collaborative project space" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is emerging as an intriguing site for the examination of the legacy of 19th and 20th Century aesthetic and political discourses; though it is also, of course, squarely forward-looking. Their current show (and print ...more

Cow Clicker: a Fountain for a New Generation of Online Gaming?
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 06-08-11
Previously on, we posed this question: whether Marx remains inescapable to the formulations of subversion fundamental to the survival of an avant-garde in the present day. Certainly, structuring a leftist mode of critical thought in an era, no longer modern and no longer even pos ...more

The God-Trap in the Young European Landscape
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 06-05-11
"The Young European Landscape", an upcoming exhibition at the Galerie Wolfsen Aalborg D.K. to be curated by Uwe Goldstein, aims to revive the landscape genre as a "framework for the reception, coordination and mirroring of our present-day lifeworld," with painting, photography ...more

Does the Avant-Garde Need Marx?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-30-11
It's official: Marx is back. At least that seems to be an increasingly acceptable veiwpoint within mainstream, English-speaking intellectual circles that would've not so long ago viewed the great 19th Century economic and political thinker as no more than a passe obsession of the Cold War era, a fet ...more

Bill Berkson Dreams
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 06-02-11
Stereotypes, whether true or false, would like to have us believe that poets, perhaps above all others, record their dreams for beauty, self-indulgence, or posterity.  However, the poets interested in the dream and the logic of the subconscious today, are perhaps not the same poets that inherit ...more

On Pharmaceutical Conceptualism
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-30-11
To my nearly-non-existent collection of avant-garde and contemporary art has been added a small conceptualist gem: a single translucent red pill inside a plastic bag labeled: Speak, write and read perfect German "inmiatly" (sic). It's by the excellent painter and documentary photo- and vid ...more

Weston's Aesthetic Vision Poses Alternate Modernist Path
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-29-11
"The only works of art America has given are her plumbing and her bridges," (probably) wrote Beatrice Wood, an American modern artist and lover of Duchamp, defending the signed urinal he had submitted to the Salon des Independants in 1917. The legacy of the urinal is often underst ...more

The Importance of Drinking and Smashing Innumerable Bottles on a Giant Pile of Beer, until It's Gone that Is
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-26-11
It's not an out and out characteristic, or quite a trend, but in the German capital they do seem to love heaps. Perhaps it's because the 350-mile-city itself is so devlishly flat. One of the tallest mountains around is Teufelberg or "Satan's Hill," the tremendous aggregation of warti ...more

De la Mora and the Fragile Object
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 05-23-11
40 year old Mexican artist, Gabriel de la Mora, has shocked, humored, and helmed the Central American conceptual art scene for a number of years now. His pieces are composed from an astonishing amount of different media and materials ranging from 'drawings' composed from human hair stra ...more

Reappraising Rodin's Work at the Musee Rodin
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 05-18-11
About a week ago an exhibit on modernist French sculptor Auguste Rodin opened at the eponymous Musee Rodin in Paris. As beautiful and monumental as Rodin's work may be, the appeal of the show lies as much in the fresh approach its curators have undertaken to shed a new critical light on the a ...more

And the Avant-Garde Gesture of the Micro-Epoch Belongs to: You?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-16-11
When I think back on the past several years, as to whether there was any artist who came forward with a move that resonated in that the-world-before-and-after, you-can-only-do-it-once sort of way (like say, Duchamp's submission of a urinal to the Salon Des Independants): well, the only thing that re ...more

Fluxus, the Sprightly Godchild of Duchamp, Retrospectivized at Dartmouth
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-15-11
Fluxus, the sprightly Godchild of Duchamp, has endless quantities of material around that will keep scholars and enthusiasts of conceptualism, antics, hijinks, and the general dada spirit busy for many years to come. A new exhibit at Dartmouth's Hood Museum: "Fluxus and the Essential Question ...more

Markopoulos, Late Doyen of Avant-Garde Film To Have Final "Tenemos"
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-14-11
In Paul Auster's novel, the Book of Illusions, a silent movie star pulls a disappearing act after a terrible personal tragedy, and ends up at a secret location making genre-bending, rule-breaking films (which he would subsequently order burned Kafkaesquely). Later, a grief-struck scholar gets pull ...more

In Defense of the Sharjah Art Biennial
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 05-13-11
The Sharjah Biennial, the oldest and most respected biennial in the Middle East hosted by the eponymous Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates, is about to close its doors this Sunday, May 16. It remained opened for two months, and has, in that brief time, also become the focus of a ...more

Revitalized and Analyzed: Elisofon's Duchamp Descends a Staircase
By Jenny Fan
posted: 05-08-11
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Allison Pappas, the 2010-2011 Judith M. Lenett fellow in Williams College’s Graduate Program in the History of Art will speak about her efforts in restoring three early twentieth-century prints at this spring’s Judith M. Lenett Memorial Lecture.  Pappas will d ...more

How Man Ray Took on Lautreamount
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-03-11
In a recent post I compared Duchamp's assemblage of the bicycle wheel atop the stool to the Comte de Lautreamont (aka Isidore Ducasse)'s notorious saying: "as beautiful as the chance meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a table." The latter, I argued, was radically disjunctive in ...more

The Great Peeps Extravaganza: A Duchamp edition
By Jenny Fan
posted: 05-02-11
Pioneer Press, a daily running out of St. Paul, just concluded its 2011 Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama and Video Contest. . For those of you who do not keep up with local news in St. Paul, Minnesota or with the near cult favorite kingdom of Peeps, the Peeps Diorama contest has be ...more

"Who's Your Dada?": Com&Com Commission a Readymade Baby
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 04-30-11
Com&Com's latest project offers to bring a work of art to life. Or perhaps, it would be more apt to say that they aim to transform life into a work of art, quite literally. Last month, the Swiss arts duo, comprised of Marcus Gossolt and Johannes M. Hedinger, proposed this unusual arran ...more

Duchamp Owns Everything
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-29-11
Several nights ago, I ate dinner at the apartment of a couple who had pasted a copy of the famous "Art History Poster," up in their bathroom (so there was plenty of time to study it while digesting potato strudel and too much wine). It's the print with a long laundry-list of artists define ...more

Warhol's Self-Portrait to sell at Christie's
By Jenny Fan
posted: 04-27-11
Before Warhol was Warhol, there was Duchamp.  In fact Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the arbiter of Pop Art and cool, was greatly influenced by Duchamp’s ready-made concept and redefinition of art.  He was the high priest of engaging “ready-made” objects, perhaps photos, with t ...more

Vassar Students Explore the Dizzying Effects of Duchamp's Rotoreliefs
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-24-11
What's part turntable, part optical-art, part children's toy? A Duchamp rotorelief: a colored, spiral-patterned disk the artist designed to create a three-dimensional visual effect when spun (hence the term "relief"). Duchamp designed them in 1935, and tried unsuccessfully to sell them, n ...more

Jodorowsky Contends with the Surrealist Ego
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 04-23-11
Those who are not yet familiar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's works would do well to check them out. His surreal, and Surreal, films have always artfully, and pleasurably, wreaked havoc upon their viewers' minds. They are always monstrous to behold and can be absolutely devastating to watch a ...more

Artist Gets Into the Head of Duchamp, literally
By Jenny Fan
posted: 04-20-11
Marcel Duchamp’s gesture of drawing a mustache and a goatee on the Mona Lisa in L. H. O. O. Q. (1919) redefined art and our perception of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  At first glance, or using Duchampian rhetoric, “retinal art,” we see only the sexual ...more

The Irony of Institutions: What the Battle over Kafka Can Tell Us about Duchamp (and vice-versa)
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-20-11
Duchamp, Kafka. Kafka, Duchamp. Seemingly an odd pairing, though both famed modernists. But bear with me. Duchamp was many things, but always French. Kafka on the other hand, wasn't Czech or German. In fact, neither country existed when Kafka was doing the bulk of his writing. The author lived in t ...more

Alfred Jarry Celebrated in Philadelphia
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 04-18-11
The first of April marked the opening of The Insolent Eye: Jarry in Art at Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Beautifully curated, it fulfilled its promise: "to recreate the beguiling atmosphere of Jarry's absurdist scenarios" and ground them in a "historical prologue." In ...more

Picasso's Super-Readymade?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-16-11
A little while ago on this site I mentioned Flavorwire's slideshow of modern and contemporary bicycle art (, and noted a few omissions. However, I neglected one of the most significant contributions to the field: Picasso's " ...more

New History of Puns Rehabilitates Key Avant-Garde Device
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-14-11
Can't get enough of puns? Do your friends start to cringe and gag when you bust out your idea of a quality joke in their presence? Maybe next occasion, gift them a copy of "The Pun Also Rises," forthcoming from champion punner and communications expert John Pollack. The book seems bent ...more

recommend: Found Sound
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-12-11
For fans of Duchamp, John Cage, and the readymade, this unassuming tumblr is worth a peruse. "Found- sound" collects miscellaneous abandoned recording cartridges, displaying photographs of the casette tapes in various states of disrepair, along with excerpts from the audio contained within ...more

Avowed Conceptualism (Gone Awry?) in Berlin
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-11-11
Outside my apartment in Berlin is Schloss Charlottenburg, a large Baroque palace once occupied by Friedrich the Great, and its manicured grounds hat were designed to ape the gardens at Versailles. Further into the "Schlosspark" is a tangle of woods and wildlife home to sleek foxes and ...more

Tracking Duchamp's Perfume Bottle
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-05-11
In a recent post (, this website mentioned that Marcel Duchamp's 1921 readymade Belle Haleine: Eau de Voilette, an empty glass perfume bottle branded by the French scent company Rigaud, was taken from Yves Saint Lauren's collection and sold at a Christ ...more

The poetry that spoke to Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-31-11
If Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2” (1912) is a song, it might be a down-tempo, acid jazz piece with sound collages assembled from turntable scratching.  NDaS No. 2 may also stutter, tap and hiccup in a systematic, almost cerebral rhythm to suit t ...more

World readying for John Cage's 100th birthday.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-31-11
John Cage and Marcel Duchamp are often mentioned in the same breath. Not only were they good friends and avid chess partners (Cage once had Duchamp's board electrically wired for a game of musical chess), Cage was an avowed creative disciple of the elder statesman of the avant-garde. Cage carried ...more

Rigaud: a Scent in Need of an Author
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-29-11
For those that have been following the attention 'scents' have been receiving in the art world, as we have, Christie's auctioned out the most expensive bottle of perfume ever sold, and it never even held perfume. This is is not surprising, for it was designed by Marcel Duchamp and M ...more

Ubuweb's "Uncreative" Poet Speaks About Textual Readymades
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-27-11
Cabinet Magazine's Gowanus HQ regularly hosts illuminating panels, exhibitions, and lectures on avant-garde practice, conceptual art, and the history of science and culture. Stiff drinks are served in conjunction. March 18th's event was no exception. That typically well-devised evening, titled &ldq ...more

Local Ready-Mades at Vintage Hardware
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-24-11
On March 12th, Vintage Hardware, a hardware and design shop in Astoria, Oregon contributed to the city's 2nd annual Saturday Art Walk by hosting a one-night-only exhibit displaying found art by students from the nearby Clatsop Community College. The burgeoning artists cited, among others, none ...more

India's Tata Nano to follow the trajectory of Duchamp's Fountaine?
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-22-11
Any purported parallel trajectory between Marcel Duchamp’s Fountaine (1918) and India’s Tata Nano may strike many as odd.  After all, what does the most infamous urinal that rocked the art world in the twentieth century has in common with a compact car produced in India in the twent ...more

Man Ray's underexposed Muse, Lover and Colleague takes the Stage.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-21-11
Never attaining the name recognition she deserves, the intrepid photographer Lee Miller cut a swath through the 20th century that few, male or female, can equal. Her life story traversed some of its central dramas: artistic, stylistic, technological, humanitarian, geopolitical. It also included a nu ...more

The Center for Olfactory Art Presents...
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-20-11
Marcel Duchamp is credited with composing the first ready-made, Fountain, in 1917 and the first art installation, Etant-Donnes (1946-1966). In 1938, however, Duchamp also created what was one of the world's first olfaction-based installations for the International Surrealist Exhibition at the Be ...more

shenanigans in Washington Square
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-18-11
This picture of Duchamp was caught on the linked webpage by kismet. It brought to mind the story Ralph Gardner of the Wall Street Journal had recently chronicled about his adventure inside the Washington Arch.  According to Parks department head preservationist John Krawchuck, Duchamp and his c ...more

Flavorwire Surveys Bike Art Since Duchamp
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-18-11
"Did the non-functional bike craze begin with Marcel Duchamp?" asks Flavorwire, referring to the bicycle wheel M.D. famously mounted upside down on a stool in 1913, creating what was most probably the first kinetic sculpture. There's no question that creative bike culture is hot. At Cri ...more

Huws of the "Word Vitrines" Brings Duchamp to (Forest) Life
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-16-11
"Piss Off I'm A Fountain," read the eponymous "word vitrine" of Bethan Huws's 2008 London exhibition. The text was laid out in white-on-black on an announcement board, the kind you'd see at a post office or a university auditorium. It's actually kind of hilarious spoof on Duch ...more

O'Hara's Early Homage to Rrose Selavy
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-15-11
Poets and painters have been in dialogue since as far back as anyone can tell. But, for Frank O'Hara (1926-1966), the seminal New York School poet who worked as critic for Art News and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York squat in the middle of the 20th century, art had been of esp ...more

nothingtoodoo, Terrence Koh
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-12-11
The self-described “Naomi Campbell of the art world,” Terence Koh, has a new solo exhibit at the Mary Boone Gallery titled “nothingtoodoo.”  Koh’s past works include a gold-plated ornament of his excrement (Art Basel, 2008) that reportedly was sold for $500,000, a ...more

Marjorie Strider Paints a New Woman for Duchamp
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-12-11
Her work hasn't been exhibited in New York for fifteen years, but pop-artist Marjorie Strider has finally returned to Hollis Taggart Galleries where her much anticipated show opened on March 8th. Her art, happily, remains as we remember it. Bikini-clad women, painted in flat blocks of acrylic pa ...more

"Alias Man Ray" selected for Art Critics' Award
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-10-11
The Jewish Museum's 2009 exhibit "Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention" brought together an unprecedentedly broad spectrum of output by Marcel Duchamp's friend, co-conspirator and occasional portraitist, Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky). It also contextualized 20th century avant-garde pr ...more

Duchamp at the Great Upheaval, Guggenheim
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-08-11
Guggenheim's new exhibit, "The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim's Collection" (1910-1918), tries to capture and encapsulate the eclectic and experimental art scenes that permeated Europe at the dawn of the tumultuous 20th century. Among the vanguard of this explosive&nbs ...more

Looking for Duchamp at the 2011 Armory Show
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-08-11
New York's largest premiere world art fair, The Armory Show, just closed its doors after a truly hectic and overwhelming weekend at Piers 92 and 94. Though the fair has been running every spring since its revival in 1994, this year it hosted a truly gargantuan number of contemporary and modern w ...more

Found Pop Detritus = Readymade?
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-07-11
"Back in 1917, when Marcel Duchamp originated the notion of "found art" by attempting to enter a porcelain urinal into a gallery show as a piece of sculpture, he probably never imagined that someday, hundreds would gather in dark rooms to watch big-haired exercise videos, scary co ...more

Duchamp at the Anatomy/Academy, PAFA
By J. Fan
posted: 03-06-11
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in its new exhibition, Anatomy/Academy, in the Fisher Brooks Gallery in PAFA’s Hamilton Building, examines the interface of art and science and its continued role in expanding the frontiers of our knowledge of the human body.  The exhibition ce ...more

Marcel Dzama's Behind Every Curtain: Patterned by Duchamp
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-05-11
To say that Marcel Dzama, a French-Canadian favorite of the New York art world, was influenced by Duchamp's preoccupation with chess would not be wholly accurate. Walking through Dzama's latest show, Behind Every Curtain, at David Zwirner, leaves one with the sense that he has been seduced by Ducha ...more

"French Window" in Tokyo
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 03-03-11
The Mori Art Museum, way up at the top of the gleaming Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi,Tokyo, is about to host a new exhibit featuring the work of Marcel Duchamp, along with that of rising International art stars who have won the prize tendered in his name. The Prix Marcel Duchamp is a 30, ...more

See M.D. Move
By Jenny Fan
posted: 03-02-11
Legend has it that Duchamp denounced and abandoned painting in 1923, and chose to spend his time playing chess instead.   In the 02-27-11 post on, we saw how Scott Kildall, computer programmer and chess enthusiast, created a user friendly game that allows players to compe ...more

Malibu Discusses the Gesture Duchampian Fountains Can Make
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 03-01-11
In celebration of Malibu City, CA's March 28th anniversary, local councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich recalled Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (1917), a simple white porcelain urinal signed R. Mutt, when she nominated a community art project in which 20 recycled urinals, toilet seats, and sinks from the Mal ...more

Progenitor of cinema and Duchampian innovation at SFMOMA
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 02-28-11
Ever enjoyed a photo flip-book? You were on territory pioneered by the great proto-cinematographer Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge made his mark on the late 1800's by using photographic series to analyze motion. He's most famous perhaps for resolving the question of whether horses raise all four h ...more

How many moves can you last against Duchamp?
By Jenny Fan
posted: 02-27-11
  Marcel Duchamp's unparalled innovation in avant garde art is paralleled by his equally impressive accomplishments in chess. Duchamp, a self-described "chess maniac," even sought to win the French Chess Championship, and although that dream never came to fruition, Duchamp represente ...more

L.H.O.O.Q.: In Bronze and Magnified
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 02-26-11
Often appropriating traditional household objects and using them as the base ingredient for large-scale sculpture projects, Subodh Gupta has garnered a significant amount of attention both within his native India and abroad. Gupta’s final installations--even when amassed from hundreds of simp ...more

Recreating Etant Donnes at Francis Naumann
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 02-25-11
Jasper Johns called Duchamp's Etant Donnes, a sculptural installation of a naked, lifelike female limply sprawled against a lush woodland landscape,  "the strangest work of art shown in any museum." Visible only through a peephole in a brick-rimmed wooden door, it  has been va ...more

Duchamp down the catwalk?
By Jenny Fan
posted: 02-24-11
Finally, Duchamp’s readymade bares itself down the catwalk at the just concluded London Fashion Week in the form of the urinal dress, a signature piece in Philip Colbert’s AW 2011 Rodnik Band Collection.  Colbert has compared his own Duchamp fascination with the inspiration of Mondr ...more

Freeing Art History with a Ready-Print Urinal?
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 02-23-11
Thanks to the efforts of Rob Myers and cwebber, Duchamp’s infamous ready-made, Fountaine, can now be reproduced by anyone with a 3D printer and used in service of aesthetics, sanitation, or humor as seen fit. Though the updated version has been criticized for its dissemblance to the 1919 ori ...more

Noguchi at the Crossroad of the Century
posted: 12-20-10
The list of artists who collaborated with sculptor Isamu Noguchi is long and impressive: Brancusi, Kahlo, Gorky, Graham, Cunningham, Ernst, Duchamp and many, many more. A new exhibit at New York's Noguchi Museum examines his life and origins as an artist in the context of his relationships with his ...more

Susan Philipsz and the Non-Hidden Noise
posted: 12-07-10
The description of Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz as a "sound artist" is raising eyebrows among theoreticians who recall Marcel Duchamp's long shadow at the nexus between the ear and the retina -- which is to say, on the conceptual plane. Like Duchamp, Philipsz is a conceptual artist w ...more

Hanno Otten at JAGR
posted: 12-01-10

Covering the Walls with History
posted: 11-29-10
An ongoing exhibit of wallpaper in Lausanne highlights a provocative design by Swiss artist Rudolf Herz: alternating portraits of Marcel Duchamp and Adolf Hitler, both photographed by Heinrich Hoffmann. The wallpaper, called Zugzwang -- a forced move in chess -- has prompted comparisons between the ...more

"Pimping" the Fountain
posted: 11-24-10
Texas sculptor Anthony Thompson Shumate has created a series of objects named after -- and arguably inspired by -- the eternal phrases often recited to artists in lieu of criticism or conventional wisdom. The "pimped out" urinal on display (to use the Houston Press critic's phrase) at the ...more

New York Art Thief Apprehended
posted: 11-23-10
A New York City chauffeur has been convicted of stealing more than $3 millino in art and other possessions from an elderly poet and Pulitzer heir. James Biear stole artwork including Duchamp's playing card "Mona Lisa," Francis Picabia's portrait of Jean Cocteau and Andy Warhol's ketchup-in ...more

Duchampian Alchemy in New Jersey
posted: 11-22-10
A 3,000-square-foot rural New Jersey house has become what the owner/decorator considers "the museum of the new alchemy" due to its many Duchampian flourishes: found objects as trim, readymade sculpture and even ironic plumbing. The architect attributes his inspiration to Beatrice Wood, &q ...more

The Aesthetics of Chance
posted: 11-18-10
The Prague Post has a glowing review of Hebert Molderings' new study of the impact of random encounters on Duchamp's artistic production, Duchamp and the Aesthetics of Chance. While the review begins with a salute to the again-ubiquitous urinal, it quickly drills down into the deeper implications of ...more

Hiroshi Sugimoto Pays Electric Tribute
posted: 11-16-10
Mr. Sugimoto, best known as a photographer, has assembled various "assisted" readymades that combine his love of Marcel Duchamp's career with electricity. The rest is a collection of "bachelor machines" that dazzle, intrigue and even startle from time to time. These wheels not on ...more

"Mustached Mona Lisa" Sells at Christie's
posted: 11-12-10
No. 21 of a limited edition of 35 copies of L.H.O.O.Q. sold recently at Christie's in New York for $452,000, roughly five times as much as the auction house expected. The image -- hand-doodled by the artist on an existing mass-market reproduction -- comes from the collection of Robert Shapazian, whi ...more

Sotheby's Selling a Man Ray Original
posted: 11-10-10
Next Friday, an auction of rare photographs in the Paris Sotheby's includes a treat for Marcel Duchamp fans: an original portrait of the artist by lifelong collaborator Man Ray, consigned by the Duchamp family itself. The item, bearing Ray's original Parisian stamp, is expected to fetch bids in the ...more

Hide/Seek, Rrose Selavy?
posted: 11-05-10
A new exhibition at Washington's National Portrait Gallery, "Hide/Seek," surveys homoerotic art and, by extension, the signs of transgressive sexuality hidden in apparently heteronormative portraiture. As such, the inclusion of a transvestite portrait of Marcel Duchamp by lifelong friend M ...more

Erwin Wurm, Meet Mr. Mutt
posted: 11-04-10
While arguably not "retinal" art in a conventional sense, the abstractly absurdist sculpture of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has few explicit points of contact with the rarefied concepts and anti-reification of much contemporary Duchamp scholarship. Wurm's appropriation of the famous Fountai ...more

Duchamp: First of the Napster Generation?
posted: 11-03-10
The Web makes nearly all of us digital pirates whether we try to avoid appropriating copy-protected material or not. Every Youtube video that makes use of pre-existing footage, every snippet of pre-recorded sound, every famous image clipped and copied into a blog is fraught with both legal and metap ...more

Back to the Chess Game . . . Down Under
posted: 10-28-10
The Bendigo Art Gallery, located near suburban Melbourne, is hosting both the global Art of Chess exhibition and a special Australia-oriented show spotlighting local artists' interactions with the game that famously distracted Marcel Duchamp from the art world . . . and drove him to cross the world ...more

Melancholia and the Bachelors Even
posted: 09-20-10
Critic Gabriel Josipovici is making a few waves by drawing what some call a "bravura" link between Dürer’s Melancholia and Duchamp's Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even. But how? For the answers, as yet, one must read his latest book, but the shared presence of so-called ...more

Sculpture for Traveling
posted: 09-15-10
The Sculpture for Traveling, Duchamp's 1918 camera-composed "sculpture," has received new attention recently thanks to the New York Museum of Modern Art's "The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture" retrospective. Over and above the Duchampian questions of what constitutes the ...more

Duchamp at El Bulli
posted: 09-09-10
Marcel and Teeny Duchamp were privileged -- or maybe the balance of honor swings the other way around -- to eat the "deconstructed cuisine" at noted restaurant El Bulli. If Duchamp pioneered an art that lurks beyond the "retinal," then Ferran Adria arguably explores a cuisine tha ...more

Duchamp and the Mandarins
posted: 09-08-10
A special exhibition at the Israel Museum juxtaposes Duchamp's "Waistcoat for Benjamin Peret" with embroidered Chinese mandarin robes as part of an interrogation of the cultural determination of art. If a "readymade" garment is art, then does that aura translate? ...more

Saying the Least about Marcel Duchamp
posted: 09-07-10
One of the most extraordinary online essays on the subject of Duchamp -- in or outside the precincts of -- is Yakov Rabinovich's "Duchamp: To Say the Least." From silent comedy to the arch negations of Voltaire (and wheeling back again), this study of how Duchamp's career inte ...more

Duchamp DIY Paris
posted: 09-06-10
As a motto, "do it yourself" covers models of production ranging from the arts & crafts movement to IKEA, and from the Sex Pistols to Marcel Duchamp's readymades. The flagship DIY store in France, BHV, is paying tribute to the readymade aesthetic -- "assisted" and otherwise - ...more

Witch's Cradle Returns to Brooklyn
posted: 09-03-10
Marcel Duchamp was a seminal figure in the avant-garde film world for decades. In 1943, he appeared in a rarely seen short directed by Maya Deren in connection with the Guggenheim "Art of the Century" exhibit. After too long unscreened, this footage -- along with other experimental films o ...more

Peggy Guggenheim, the Movie?
posted: 09-01-10
A feature film about the life of Peggy Guggenheim, legendary modern art collector, patron and friend of Marcel Duchamp -- not to mention one-time bride of Max Ernst -- is moving into the development stage. Eleanor Cayre is onboard to lead the project through its early phases along with award-winning ...more

Deconstructing Duchamp
posted: 08-26-10
The popular show "Seduction of Duchamp" is coming to the Museums of Los Gatos. While many exhibitions inadvertently become a showcase of Duchamp tributes and swipes, this one wears its influence proudly. Chess demonstrations, lectures and other events add to the ambience. ...more

Reassembling the Readymade
posted: 08-24-10
Chinese artist Zhou Wendou has made his name breaking down barriers between the mass object and the art object, or between the useful and the useless. The Duchampian slant of his aesthetic is on display -- or rather, not on display -- in his recent untitled demolition of a copy of the Fountain and r ...more

Bearded Ladies of Minnesota
posted: 08-23-10
A recent benefit gala for the Minnesota Institute of Art featured a circus theme and such diversions as bearded ladies on display and a "wheel of dada" spinning for unique and fetishistic prizes. As local society columnist Maura Ryan put it, "Marcel Duchamp has my back." ...more

Varian Fry: Savior of Thousands (Including Duchamp)
posted: 08-19-10
New evidence reveals that American journalist Varian Fry, who went to Marseille in 1940 with "a checkbook and a list of 200 names," ended up saving some 4,000 people -- including the leading lights of the then-banned surrealist movement -- from the Nazi regime. Fry helped smuggle Chagall, ...more

'Twisted Pair' Show Ending With a Flourish
posted: 08-17-10
The highly lauded "Twisted Pair" Duchamp-Warhol retrospective at Pittsburgh's Warhol Museum will end on September 11-12 with a gala symposium of thoughts from scholars like Francis Naumann and Hal Foster and a recital of the music of Duchamp associate John Cage. Not to be missed. ...more

Rijksmuseum Celebrates Jacques Villon
posted: 08-16-10
Marcel Duchamp's brother Gaston, who painted under the name Jacques Villon, will be the subject of a special exhibition co-curated by the Amsterdamn Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Villon is best known as a neo-impressionist, but the exposure should put his work into a larger context. (Opening ...more

The Duchampian Rebus
posted: 08-12-10
Letter and word play is omnipresent in the Duchampian universe. From Rose Selavy and her noteworthy failure to sneeze to L.H.O.O.Q. and the Fresh Widow, Duchamp's titles occupy absurd, almost self-canceling linguistic spaces of their own. In the company of images and objects, they take on an even le ...more

Another Look at VVV
posted: 08-11-10
The 1943 "VVV" portfolio of surrealist art and ideas, co-edited by Marcel Duchamp, is rightfully considered one of the highlights of the movement's New York period. An exhibition of images from that era -- currently at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art -- opens up the extremely limited edition (2 ...more

Uncomfortably Reverential?
posted: 08-09-10
The Boston-area DeCordova Sculpture Park has created an iPhone app that allows visitors to eavesdrop on pre-recorded auto-commentary on the pieces on display. Notably, the recorded critics found Ilan Averbuch's "Skirt and Pants (after Duchamp)" to be "uncomfortably reverential,&quo ...more

The Patron Saint of Readymades Strikes Again
posted: 08-05-10
Duchamp is invoked in reviews of Paris artist Claire Fontaine's new show in Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art. Like Duchamp, Fontaine enjoys the juxtaposition (and subtle manipulation) of everyday objects to create unique assemblies: stuffed tennis balls, bricks concealed in book jackets, coins wit ...more

Francesca Woodman and Marcel Duchamp
posted: 08-02-10
The Duchampian ghost hangs heavy over the work of photographer Francesca Woodman, who is often described as the visual arts' answer to Sylvia Plath. But if Plath needed an answer, then the persistence of mystery -- the infrathin sense that resolution is on the tip of the tongue or eye -- in Woodman' ...more

More from Christian Marclay
posted: 07-30-10
The New Republic notes that the work of "dilettante of near genius" Christian Marclay (currently at the Whitney Museum) is characterized by lightness deriving from the artist's admiration for Marcel Duchamp as both conceptual thinker and gamesman. Video demonstrates the similarities bette ...more

The Bride Strips Bare
posted: 07-29-10
Despite lackluster notices, a current video retrospective at the Whitney Museum offers at least one highlight -- Hannah Wilkes' 1976 performance piece, "Through the Large Glass." The short video both literalizes Duchamp's seminal assemblage as Wilkes plays the role of the "Bride" ...more

'Another World' Show Not Different Enough?
posted: 07-27-10
The Surrealists appear to have lost their power to shock the Scottish press. Reviews of the ongoing retrospective at the Edinburgh Dean Gallery have wavered between bewilderment and boredom, with a few dutiful explanations of how the Dalis, Magrittes and Duchamps on display fit into modern art histo ...more

Active Art, Passive Entertainment?
posted: 07-26-10
Duchamp looms large over debates about the role of the observer in art. Is the observer a passive non-participant willing to sit back and be entertained by the work, or is he or she an active partner in the experience? Naturally Duchamp would opt for the latter approach -- even though it renders the ...more

The Bell & The Glass
posted: 07-25-10
Christian Marclay's video tribute to the Liberty Bell and Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass treats the one object like the musical instrument it was intended to be and the other as a species of musical score -- that is, as the visual representation and record of sound.  While critics are mixed, the ...more

The Stolen Exhibit
posted: 07-22-10
"The ECHO exhibit at the Albright-Knox is about appropriation—borrowing, stealing, ripping off and recycling—in art, and opens with the two modern era pathfinders of the practice, Marcel Duchamp from the first part of the 20th century, and Andy Warhol from the second. "Ar ...more

Taking the Readymade Approach out for a Spin
posted: 07-21-10
Philadelphia-area artist Joe Dillon III invokes the legacy of Duchamp's readymades when explaining his mechanically assisted "spin art," but a closer spiritual ancestor may be the rotoreliefs. Dillon's art reproduces the chance operations of the rotating paint spray seen at carnivals on la ...more

Memories of Paik Nam-June
posted: 07-20-10
Shigeko Kubota, widow of pioneering video artist Paik Nam-June and a noted member of the Fluxus movement in her own right, has published a memoir of her married life. Details of her privileged relationship with Paik (and, of course, vice versa) emerge in the text. For example, apparently her install ...more

Lady Gaga Pays Tribute
posted: 07-15-10
Pop diva Lady Gaga, known for her ability to bridge high concepts with bawdy delivery, has paid a characteristically flashy tribute to the work of Marcel Duchamp by having a hand-inscribed urinal delivered to London fashion boutique The piece -- named Armitage Skanks after its in ...more

Uncurated Art Show Hits Snag
posted: 07-14-10
The "Artomatic" collective of several hundred Washington-area artists will not be able to exhibit together before 2011 at the earliest because, so far, no space large enough to contain their work has been contracted. (Reported early negotiations with a local junior high school may or may n ...more

Dennis Hopper, Duchampian
posted: 07-13-10
A major retrospective of the artistic career of late actor Dennis Hopper is receiving uneven reviews. After genuflecting to Hopper's apparent influences and enthusiasms -- a bit of Warhol here, an encounter with Duchamp there, Basquiat, Rauschenberg -- critics are almost invariably forced to reflect ...more

New Man Ray Found
posted: 07-12-10
Two lost Man Ray pieces -- one a mobile assemblage of wooden coat hangers, the other a postcard -- have turned up in Scotland as part of the Lee Miller / Ronald Penrose estate and will be exhibited in Edinburgh through January. If only lost Duchamp pieces could turn up so often! ...more

The Visual Art of John Cage
posted: 07-09-10
Indeterminacy -- in the sense used by Duchamp in the Standard Stoppages or the Musical Erratum -- was a core compositional value for John Cage. His visual work demonstrates similar impetus, from Not Wanting To Say Anything About Marcel onward. A major retrospective of Cage's paintings and other visu ...more

Both Sides of the 1917 Divide
posted: 07-08-10
Sculptor Derek Morris considers the 1917 exhibition of Fountain as the watershed of modern art, dividing studio-oriented work that went before from the conceptual work that has since conquered the art world. The Norfolk Contemporary Art Society's current show bridges the gap, with "assisted rea ...more

Echoes of Rrose
posted: 07-07-10
The small 1964 assemblage Why Not Sneeze Rose Selavy is on exhibit through October 10 at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery, part of a retrospective show called "ECHO." What is exciting about this display of Why Not Sneeze is the emphasis placed on its textual dimension: mirrors allow vie ...more

Fountain in Scotland
posted: 07-06-10
The installation of one of Duchamp's Fountains in a new exhibition of dada and surrealist works at Scotland's National Gallery of Modern Art inspires plenty of local musing about how the sometimes florid sex-and-death conceptions of painters like Magritte and Miro plays into the Presbyterian milieu ...more

The Duchampian Echoes of Lindsey Price
posted: 07-05-10
Reflections on Duchamp -- the readymades, chance pieces and general "conceptual" art -- provide a solid backstop to the photography and installations of contemporary artist Lindsey Price. In fact, at least one critic seems more anxious to rehearse the Duchampian than the Pricean aspects of ...more

Dreams That Money Can Buy
posted: 07-02-10
Hans Richter's 1947 film Dreams That Money Can Buy was revived recently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger and Man Ray worked on the project, making it an extraordinary snapshot of a relatively brief moment in postwar t ...more

Duchamp and the Long Scroll of Huang Yong Ping
posted: 07-01-10
MOMA's newly reopened contemporary art galleries contain plenty of references -- oblique and direct -- to the role of Marcel Duchamp as father of conceptual art. One piece now on display is Franco-Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping's epic "Long Scroll," which cycles through his artistic geneal ...more

Soup Cans and Fountains
posted: 06-29-10
Marcel Duchamp was a significant influence on Andy Warhol. From the early readymades to the Pop Art masterpieces, the underlying line of thought is clear: everything can carry the aura of "art." Mass-produced objects can be "art." Advertising images can be "art." ...more

Bride of Bottle Rack
posted: 06-28-10
While the Fountain is often given pride of place among Duchamp's readymades, the Bottle Rack is the inspiration for a new glass work by Beth Lipman: the Bride. Five tiers of glass, references to the "large glass," a somewhat dark sensibility. ...more

Robert Shapazian Dies in Los Angeles
posted: 06-26-10
Noted art dealer and publisher Robert Shapazian, best known for stewarding the Gagosian Gallery of Beverly Hills since its founding, has died at age 67 of lung cancer. He was an influential Duchamp critic and, in his role as head of the Lapis Press, published innovative studies of Duchamp's work. ...more

'Surreal House' Weird Enough for Fortean Times
posted: 06-23-10
The Fortean Times, noted journal of the bizarre and uncommensurable, has guarded praise for the Barbican's "Surreal House" exhibition. The gallery spaces are the truly disorienting element of the show, writes Jen Ogilvie. The content -- like Duchamp's Please Touch repurposed as an erotic d ...more

The Uncollectable Duchamp
posted: 06-22-10
Is Marcel Duchamp one of the world's least collectible artists? The assertion seems odd given the numinous quality that every scrap of material associated with the artist has achieved in the marketplace, but while the relic hunters are active, supply is constrained. ARTINFO puts him on the uncollect ...more

New Realisms, Readymade in Madrid
posted: 06-18-10
An enlightening exhibit at Madrid's Museo Reina Sofia weaves together the ruptures of postwar art to focus on the interplay between readymade and spectacle in 1957 through 1962. Duchamp's shadow broods large over the whole, which is punctuated by the death of Jackson Pollack and the dawn of the publ ...more

The Museum of Good Ideas
posted: 06-17-10
Duchamp's "underground" career -- decades ostensibly away from the art world in pursuit of chess -- is a touchstone for youthful artist Mark Bloch, who has taken the gameboard out of the underground and bck into the museum gallery in his recent series, Storage Museums. There's an element o ...more

Stuckists versus the High Concept
posted: 06-15-10
An "ominous" picture by artist Mark D currently hanging in the British Royal Academy of Art depicts what appears to be a dessicated Marcel Duchamp adrift on a dark and desolate sea. Only carrion birds, volcanic ash and the totemic shark of the Stuckist art movement -- to which Mark D belon ...more

Requiem for the Readydesigner
posted: 06-14-10
Tobias Wong, often considered a successor to the ironic aspects of Marcel Duchamp's career on the margins of art, killed himself late last month at the age of 35. He will be remembered for his "readydesigned" objects, which carry the readymade art concept into the marketplace of contempora ...more

Cage: Sound and Sculpture
posted: 06-12-10
The current show at BALTIC features a response from eight contemporary artists to a piece of work developed while Cage was at the New School of Social Research. And 60 years on, artists are still drawing inspiration from the avant garde composer’s life and work.(Through September 19.) ...more

God Save ... Tu m'?
posted: 06-10-10
Punk is theater, argues Stefany Anne Golberg, and dada was theater. How much does the iconic poster for the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" single owe to Duchamp's pioneering use of safety pins to hold Tu m' together? The pin pierces and intrudes on the picture plane, unifying the compos ...more

Fountain to Fountain
posted: 06-09-10
London's Whitechapel Gallery is exhibiting two versions of Duchamp's "Fountain" -- one of the porcelain replica "originals" and Sherrie Levine's cast-in-bronze tribute -- through September 5. The focus is on materials, corporeal reality, the body and its limitations.   ...more

Remembering Duchamp's Meal
posted: 06-07-10
Daniel Spoerri's work with food and its remains has recently returned to the public's attention as the now-80-year-old artist excavates a banquet he buried in 1983. The project has also reminded some critics of his noted "readymade" exhibition of the detritus of a meal served to Marcel Duc ...more

Rrose's Shoe (Large)
posted: 06-04-10
A bicycle wheel bisects Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Selavy in William Schinsky's shoe-based work "Duchamp/Selavy," on display in Palm Desert, California for much of this summer. As Schinsky points out, Duchamp was indeed a courageous gentleman who "did things out of the mainstream. ...more

Treating Kitchen Tools Like Readymade Treasure
posted: 06-03-10
The Duchampian idea of readymade as household tool abstracted from its useful context receives new nuances in Indian artist Subodh Gupta's "Chimta" series, which assembles thousands of steel bread tongs into monumental aggregates. One such piece, from 2003, will be auctioned off at Christi ...more

The Magic of Beatrice Wood
posted: 06-02-10
Notorious Duchamp collaborator Beatrice Wood recently won favorable notice in the New York Times for her "whimsical and playful" ceramic universe. The subversive and often erotic figural work apparently passed without notice but Duchamp scholars will likely find plenty of earthy humor froz ...more

Louise Bourgeois, 1911-2010
posted: 06-01-10
Louise Bourgeois, the noted sculptor who knew and worked with many of the seminal members of the surrealist group (including Marcel Duchamp), died Monday in New York. She was 98 years old and had been producing horrors, marvels and enigmas for seven decades.   ...more

Making a House Less Like Home
posted: 05-28-10
The Barbican gallery's "Surreal House" exhibit has opened and is drawing insightful reviews, most recently from the Financial Times. If the act of building and maintaining a home reflects the process of being in the world, then the surrealist project subverts that process by making "h ...more

Reinventing the Wheels
posted: 05-27-10
As the curator of a new show at Princeton's Paul Robeson Center of Art points out, sometimes progress is really a matter of circling back around to the origin, only to see the place for the first time. In other words, history can be all about reinventing the wheel. The show, which runs through July ...more

Readymade or Relic: The Economics of Fine Art
posted: 05-26-10
When collectors pay $10 million, $100 million or more for a numinous Picasso, Giacometti or Van Gogh, what are they buying? What value does the artist add through labor, vision, experience and, ultimately, signature? Why do objects with a peripheral or disputed association with a bankable body of wo ...more

Christian Boltanski and the Persistence of Duchamp
posted: 05-25-10
Recent critical reception of conceptual artist Christian Boltanski's work (such as No Man's Land, in which menswear is sifted endlessly) has struggled to invoke the legacy of Marcel Duchamp as patron of the "big questions" about the function of art, or at very least the instigator of the l ...more

A Twisted Pair: Duchamp/Warhol
posted: 05-24-10
The Andy Warhol Museum is holding a special retrospective of the connections between Warhol and Duchamp; as the museum promises, "many Duchamp works" are on loan from the Moderna Musee in Stockholm, and new archival material should generate new insights into how Warhol viewed Duchamp and h ...more

The Tzanck Check, Duchamp Bonds and Other 'Art Currencies'
posted: 05-21-10
The line between art and seigniorage, creation and currency fascinated Duchamp and was the focus of several minor works -- notably the Monte Carlo bonds and the little-discussed Tzanck Check of 1919 -- as well as major endeavors like the traveling salesman's Box in a Valise and other readymade repro ...more

Cincinnati Retrospective Highlights Cage and Others
posted: 05-20-10
A major exhibition of works from the Carl Solway Gallery's 48-year collection highlights the work of conceptual artists like Buckminster Fuller, Nam June Paik and especially John Cage. Solway, now 75, befriended Cage in the late 1960s and eventually published the composer's relatively little-known m ...more

Barbican Builds a Surreal House
posted: 05-19-10
Duchamp's latex breast beckons visitors to the Barbican's "Surreal House" exhibition this summer. In fact, the sculpture -- originally brought to bear as the cover to the 1947 "Surrealism in 1947" show catalog -- serves as the doorbell for a haunted structure designed by London a ...more

'Readymade' Washing Machine Offered at $5,000
posted: 05-18-10
Miami's Spinello Gallery recently exhibited a fully functional washing machine and attached clothes line signed by local artist Lee Materazzi and titled "Mother." Although the artist hopes its $5,000 asking price will make it accessible to casual collectors, it has as yet found no buyers d ...more

Stolen Fountain Chip on Display
posted: 05-17-10
A pair of Italian artists who spent two years pilfering fragments of various celebrated contemporary art objects are now exhibiting their collection of souvenirs under the heading "Stolen Pieces." Eva and Franco Mattes chipped, clipped and pried bits of works by Oldenburg, Beuys, Warhol, ...more

National Gallery Show Highlights Modernists
posted: 05-14-10
An exhibition opening this weekend at the National Gallery of Art highlights the interest of Deborah and Ed Shein in American modernist art. Among the works on display are Fresh Widow, an assisted and unusually complex replica readymade originally attributed to Rose Selavy. Notably, as the NGA catal ...more

Duchamp's Influence Reflected in Kathmandu
posted: 05-13-10
Nepali artist Kapil Mani Dixit alludes to Duchamp among other artistic luminaries in his upcoming show in Kathmandu, "Tribute to the Great Artists." Dixit's engagement with Picasso in particular is a constant in his work; other paintings executed in his distinctive Himalayan-influenced sty ...more

Last Original Chess Grandmaster Dies
posted: 05-12-10
Andor Lilienthal, the last of the original 27 grandmasters honored by the World Chess Federation in 1950, has died in Budapest at age 99. He regularly competed against Marcel Duchamp in tournament contexts and considered the artist the most talented chess player to come out of France. ...more

Sound and Sculpture
posted: 05-11-10
The emergence of sound art as a critical category has sparked new interest in the "imaginary sound sculptures" of Marcel Duchamp and his disciples like John Cage. Acoustic artist Susan Philipsz is even up for the Turner Prize. But how do these abstract soundscapes differ from the conventio ...more

Another Duchampian Tribute Wins a Prize
posted: 05-07-10
This seems to be the season for Duchamp-inspired sculpture to win awards at regional art exhibitions. Ontario sculptor Arne Roosman recently won the Victoria Wines Award for the "Homage to Marcel Duchamp" he entered in the Art Gallery of Bancroft's recent invitational show. Judge Allan O' ...more

Richard Jackson's Fountainous Bears
posted: 05-06-10
Often considered a "neo-Dadaist," sculptor Richard jackson enjoys punning themes, the deflation of "art" as a sublime category and intense primary color. His  Pump Pee Doo, currently on display in Vancouver, is generally considered a complicated reference to Marcel Duchamp&r ...more

The Artist as Prankster
posted: 05-04-10
The legend of Duchamp continues to evolve as it spreads over the world and across the decades. The Deccan Herald of Bangalore recently printed a fairly lengthy appraisal of the artist's career and influence that hits the high points of the Fountain's trajectory in particular. Sometimes it's good to ...more

Chocolate Grinder Tribute Wins Prize
posted: 05-03-10
Joseph Saccio won the "best in show" award at the recent Art of the Northeast competition for his "Flowers for Duchamp." The mixed-media sculpture looks back to the Chocolate Grinder in a new organic format. Playful but sadly non-functional. ...more

Banksy Film Evokes Duchamp
posted: 04-30-10
Reviews of the new film "Exit Through the Gift Shop" often invoke Duchamp as the patron saint of the deadpan artistic fake-out. While it would be simplistic to dismiss the Fountain as what the British would call a "piss take," there is something Duchampian in the play between sim ...more

Duchamp Runs Away With Christie's Sale
By Scott Martin
posted: 04-29-10
Duchampiania brought in $214,000 at Christie's recent New York sale of "Prints and Multiples," with seven of the eight works on the block fetching higher-than-expected prices. The centerpiece of the auction was a posthumous copy of the Boîte-en-Valise, which sold for $92,500; earlie ...more

Joan Bakewell Remembers Duchamp
posted: 04-28-10
Now 77, Joan Bakewell, the BBC news presenter who interviewed Marcel Duchamp in the summer of 1968, remembers him as one of the most "important" people she spoke with during her career. As she notes, Duchamp was "extraordinary, smiled a lot, smoked big cigars." The interview its ...more

Museum Mangles and the Fountain
posted: 04-27-10
A recent blog post listing various cases in which museum goers accidentally damaged art on display is amusing, but seems strangely silent where deliberate vandalism or "performance" is involved. Where's Tony Shafrazi's defacement of Guernica? All the efforts over the years to destroy the M ...more

Stalking the Infrathin
posted: 04-26-10
Although Duchamp's notes on the aesthetic concept he termed the "infrathin" (or in French, the infra-mince) are fragmentary, in their collective bulk they add up to a significant body of work describing otherwise unmeasurable nuances in art, language, life. Blogger Ethan has been collectin ...more

Drinking Champagne from the 'Fountain'
posted: 04-23-10
The Brooklyn Museum's annual gala featured plenty of surrealist-inspired edible art this year, including melting heads sculpted from cheese, a 20-foot Andy Warhol head filled with snack cakes and plenty of dead rabbits to explain painting to. While the champagne fountains were explicitly Duchampian ...more

Original Reproductions in Tel Aviv
By Scott Martin
posted: 04-22-10
A recent article on promises "'Original' Reproductions by Marcel Duchamp at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art" and provides a precis of the relationship between authenticity, "assistance" and the readymade that is both elegant and penetrating. However, "its context is ...more

Given: the Waterfall
posted: 04-21-10
The waterfall at Forestay is famous as the backdrop for Duchamp's final work, Etant donnes. But as yet, little formal research has been done on just why the artist picked this particular bit of landscape and what it means. (As the subtitle indicates, the two "given" premises of the work ar ...more

Roger Ebert Versus Video Games, Duchamp Against All?
By Scott Martin
posted: 04-20-10
In a somewhat bizarre dispute between film critic Roger Ebert and various advocates of video games as art, the shade of Marcel Duchamp has been invoked essentially to argue that "art is in the eye of the beholder." Most of these arguments have been perfunctory, but noted comic book theoris ...more

Picture Windows: The Fresh Widow, the Peephole, Conceptual Art
posted: 04-19-10
Brooklyn illustrator and MFA student Anne Emond says she spends "a lot of time thinking about Marcel Duchamp." Her musings about the artist's persistent fascination are delightful in their own right, but her claim that her own art is a "picture window" and so has nothing in comm ...more

Musical Sculpture and Sculptural Music
posted: 04-16-10
Composer Bill Fontana draws musical inspiration from Marcel Duchamp's description of the Large Glass as a form of "musical sculpture" in which sonic relationships can be preserved. While Duchamp applied "musical" principles to his malic forms, Fontana takes a "sculptural&quo ...more

Greetings from 'Daddaland'
posted: 04-15-10
Rubber stamps have a long history as a medium for cheap, easily reproduced and even "guerilla" art, with roots stretching back through the Fluxus movement to dada. A selection of stamps that originally appeared in Picasso "Daddaland" Gaglione's San Francisco gallery uncovers this ...more

Seoul Curator Vindicated
posted: 04-14-10
The former director of South Korea's National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kim Yoon-soo, has been ruled innocent of what the government claimed was wrongful conduct in the purchase of a copy of Duchamp's Boite-en-valise. Kim reportedly sent a broker a conditional memorandum of understanding that he w ...more

Fallis in Wonderland
posted: 04-13-10
The work of Abigail Fallis makes gestures toward both environmental and conceptual "relevance," but it is through Fallis' absurdist humor that these objects most immediately connect with the viewer. An upcoming show at London's Pangolin Gallery (through July 3) demonstrates this humor thro ...more

Duchamp and the Triumph of the Industrial
posted: 04-12-10
Almost a century after Duchamp unleashed the first readymades on the world, the industrial aesthetic -- whether simply reminiscent of the factory or truly "found" -- has in some sense conquered both the museum and the workshops of contemporary sculptors and, perhaps more importantly, has b ...more

With Hidden Noise
posted: 04-09-10
A blogger who recently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art was struck by Duchamp's "assisted" readymades -- effectively assemblages -- and in particular the 1916 With Hidden Noise. Sadly the object can no longer be shaken, which makes its title (and the secret noisemaker inside) both po ...more

Pompidou Recreates the Workshop of Andre Breton
posted: 04-08-10
In conjunction with a more general exhibition of epochal works from its modern collection (1905-60), the Pompidou Center is dedicating a wall to art that was originally housed in Andre Breton's studio. Highlights include three Duchamp editions -- including copies of Why Not Sneeze Rose Selavy? and t ...more

Duchamp in the Marketplace
posted: 04-07-10
Debate over the authenticity and resale value of various Duchampian urinals -- copies, appropriations, relics or forgeries -- reveals anxieties around the art market that would otherwise have remained latent. If, as Reuters columnist Felix Salmon points out, the "market" determines the price of a wo ...more

The Retinal & the Triumph of Genre
posted: 04-06-10
As far as the mass art reproduction market goes, representation still rules. According to a recent article by art student Ide Bouldin, the best-selling genres of digital imagery are still conventional or expressionistic landscapes, with depictions of nudes, dogs, wildlife and other figures crowding ...more

'Until Something Else'...
posted: 04-05-10
In his correspondence with Alfred Stieglitz, Duchamp once applauded photography's power to "make people despise painting," but acknowledged that photography itself was only useful until something else comes along to make it, too, "unbearable." From this starting point, culture critic Francisco Ricar ...more

Bringing 'Something Else' to Kyoto
By Scott Martin
posted: 04-02-10
A major exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto (MOMAK) highlights many of retiring chief curator Shinji Kohmoto's "favorite" unclassifiable works of art from the collection, including several of Duchamp's readymades.In the exhibit catalog, Kohmoto alludes to these works, which are ...more

Tweet Nothings: Appropriations of Peter Ketchum
posted: 04-01-10
A new show at the Norfolk, CT library introduces new and old work by Peter J. Ketchum, a New York artist and gallery owner usually pigeonholed into the "folkpop" category. Antique picture postcards relettered and otherwise detourned. Duchampian jokes aplenty. (Through April 30; gala reception April ...more

From Shocking To Merely Poetic....
posted: 03-30-10
Appraisals of the work of Surrealist photographers point out that images that would once have been revolutionary statements of the modern now seem passively dreamlike, dated, nostalgic. ("Twilight Visions" will run at New York's International Center of Photography through May 9.) ...more

MOMA and the Readymade Concept
posted: 03-29-10
Although the Museum of Modern Art's acquisition of the "@" symbol raised eyebrows, the Duchampian overtones of bringing a piece of anonymous typography into the museum are obvious. The act tests the barrier between art and industrial design -- are all marks of punctuation theoretically worth contemp ...more

Unauthorized Fountains Make Waves
By Scott Martin
posted: 03-25-10
The philosophical ramifications of Marcel Duchamp's estate objecting to the circulation of unauthorized and unsigned copies of the epochal Fountain by Arturo Schwarz are not lost on The Economist. The often-wry weekly journal notes that while Schwarz, who sold a limited edition of 12 hand-crafted re ...more

Exhibitions in a Box
posted: 03-24-10
Independent Curators International has taken up the challenge posed by projects like Marcel Duchamp's Boite-en-valise to present suitcase-sized traveling exhibitions of art. These miniature art collections contain ephemera, video, archival materials and small-scale original works curated to allow d ...more

Starry Messenger
posted: 03-23-10
Those in central California may find food for thought at a UC-Davis lecture on "Marcel Duchamp's Comet Haircut and Astronomy" coming up next month. Design professor James Housefield will address the suggestive linkages between Duchamp's starry haircut, the artist's lifelong interest in optics, and o ...more

Duchamp and Type Treatment
posted: 03-22-10
Richard Kegler created his first font to reproduce Marcel Duchamp's handwriting for his graduate thesis on the Large Glass. Since then, his company P22 has developed hundreds of typefaces and a website that realizes the original thesis through animation.The Duchamp font is no longer available, so th ...more

The Shock of the New (Again)
posted: 03-19-10
The 1982 BBC series Shock of the New is often considered the greatest televised art program of all time, but its observations about post-impressionist artists and their concerns are unavailable on home video. However, out of Robert Hughes' sprawling five-hour epic, fragments -- like the eight-minute ...more

Last Tour for Cunningham Dancers
posted: 03-18-10
When Merce Cunningham, sometime collaborator with Marcel Duchamp, died last year, his will instructed that his eponymous dance company embark on one last tour and then, possibly, dissolve. That tour is going on now and will conclude on December 31 2011 -- at New York's Park Avenue Armory. After that ...more

Three-Minute Wonder: The 'Fountain' Returns
posted: 03-17-10
Film director Mike Figgis recently had the chance to install a copy of the notorious Fountain in a Liverpool restroom and recorded reactions from members of the public. The results were suggestive of generations of received critical response and, surprisingly, revealed often ignored aspects of the w ...more

posted: 03-16-10
A recent installation of Ida Applebroog's drawings everted the voyeuristic structure of Etant donnes by putting the naked ladies on the outside of the box; visitors were invited to peer inside the doorless "little sanctuary" -- a room of one's own -- at more of the art, which depicts Applebroog's ow ...more

A Glimpse into Montreal's New Dzama Show
posted: 03-15-10
A significant retrospective look at the diorama-driven career of Marcel Dzama offers some of the thrills of the wax museum along with more enduring grist for thought. Dzama's one-time signature installation Even the Ghost of the Past updates Etant Donnes in ways that both expand and circle back on t ...more

Duchamp Still has the Power to Shock
By Scott Martin
posted: 03-12-10
Nearly nine decades after Marcel Duchamp and Bronia Perlmutter posed nude as Adam and Eve, the image is still causing trouble. Readers of the Lubbock, TX Avalanche-Journal are debating whether an earthenware interpretation of Man Ray's original photograph is "offensive." Interestingly, the controver ...more

Design: From Found to Foundry
posted: 03-11-10
A new London exhibition of Ron Arad's readymade-inspired designs segments his work into the "scavenged" or found, the "rolled" or fabricated, and "tinkered" objects in between. This continuum of approaches to raw materials demonstrates his wit and, as the title of the show underlines, the artist's f ...more

Duchamp and Mail Art: SMS
posted: 03-10-10
In the 1960s, artists affiliated with the Fluxus movement bypassed the gallery system by mailing each other portfolios as boxed "exhibitions." Collector William Copley set up SMS, one of the more famous of these exchanges, which brought together an assortment of surrealists and younger artists: Opp ...more

The 'Nude' in a Cubist Context
posted: 03-09-10
The Philadelphia Museum of Art's current Picasso show reimagines a 1912-era Parisian cubist salon to include allied works like Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase. While the gesture may necessitate some license (the painting was neither exhibited with the cubists nor deeply "cubist" in its concern ...more

Richard Hamilton's 'Modern Moral Matters'
posted: 03-08-10
"As Duchamp's chief British cheerleader, Richard Hamilton influenced not one, not two, but three generations of creatives. Pop art we have noted already. The best British art of the 1970s, from Richard Long to Gilbert & George, was infected, too, by Duchampian logic. As for Brit Art, with its passio ...more

Red Grooms: Old Masters & Modern Muses
posted: 03-05-10
American artist Red Grooms, best known for his large-format and "jokey" multimedia installations of crowds, is receiving a retrospective show at Bryn Mawr College's Canaday Library. The exhibit focuses on Grooms' portraits of his fellow artists: Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Goya, Rembrandt, Titian ... Du ...more

In Defense of the Fountain
posted: 03-04-10
Confronted with vaguely Kelmscottian complaints that factory methods are somehow less "honest" than the work artists produce by hand, Cambridge student critic Eliot D'Silva recently launched a counter-argument that the smooth and shining planed surfaces of industrial manufacture generate readymade p ...more

An Invitation to the 1913 Armory Show
posted: 03-03-10
An intimate exhibition of artists' lists at the Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Washington, DC captures a moment of poignant trivia for Duchamp scholars. One of the lists is by Picasso and contains his hand-scribbled list of artists worthy of inclusion in the 1913 Armory Show. Mu ...more

Satie-Duchamp-Cage: Anarchic Happenings
posted: 03-02-10
The reverberations of Erik Satie's 1917 ballet Parade continued to sound well into the 1950s and beyond, thanks to John Cage's efforts to keep the anarchic experimentation of Satie and his collaborators vibrant. Whether such musical circuses are "modern," postmodern or hark as Duchamp in Willem de K ...more

Living out of the Suitcase in Miami
By Scott Martin
posted: 03-01-10
The Miami Art Museum will be highlighting works from its permanent collection, including a hard-won edition of Marcel Duchamp's Box in a Suitcase (Boite-en-valise), in its main gallery until it relocates to its new facilities in 2013. By doing so, the museum frees up institutional resources to prepa ...more

Peter Liversidge's Duchampian Propositions
posted: 02-26-10
Artist Peter Liversidge works by composing a series of "proposals" to create objects (facsimile dice, neon signage, mobile sculpture) and document situations (visits, encounters, meals); his current exhibition, at Edinburgh's Ingleby Gallery, collects 160 such proposals and their realizations to co ...more

Warhol, from Dylan to Duchamp
posted: 02-25-10
The Eric Firestone Gallery in Tucson will be exhibiting photographs by Nat Finkelstein, Carl Fischer, Michael Tighe, Santi Visalli and others associated with Andy Warhol. Some of the images have never been shown before in a public venue. (Through April 11. has details.) ...more

The Maori Readymade
posted: 02-24-10
New Zealand artist Michael Parekowhai has been invited to exhibit his work at next year's Venice Biennale. Much of his work has explored the New Zealand cultural identity (simultaneously imported and traditional) through the recontextualization of images and objects; an early breakthrough was After ...more

Readymade Tools for Rebuilding Haiti
posted: 02-23-10
Curators from top museums, galleries and art spaces are banding together to raise money for Haiti through auctioning off readymade objects from nearly a hundred artists, including Jeff Koons, Terence Koh and musician Michael Stipe. Working in the Duchampian mode and organized in a grassroots style b ...more

Duchamp, Game Theory and the Frame of Being
posted: 02-22-10
Glosses on Duchamp have become popular in game design circles, but the multi-dimensional relationship between the Duchampian career and game theory itself has not enjoyed such high-profile scrutiny. Nonetheless, a recent brief but insightful essay by blogger Stanley Wrzyszczynski pulls together some ...more

Dorothea Tanning: Beyond "Birthday and Beyond"
posted: 02-19-10
August will mark the centenary of Dorothea Tanning's birth. Max Ernst knew early on that she was a deep dreamer, a heterodox surrealist and a chess player; she became his fourth and last wife. Barry Schwabsky at The Nation has anticipated the looming 100-year milestone to muse thoughtfully on her lo ...more

Recycling the Readymade
By Scott Martin
posted: 02-18-10
In the tradition of the first readymades, Gallery 705 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is showing a collection of assemblages, photos of assemblages and wall sculptures created from "recycled" or discarded objects and other "found" materials. Highlights include Minnesota artist Nick Schleif's monumental ...more

Dada Against Context
posted: 02-17-10
According to a new study, we like art better when it has not been interpreted for us -- and that goes for both representational styles and more "difficult" or conceptual work. Kenneth Bordens, a psychology professor of Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne, split 172 students into two gr ...more

Fashion Descending the Runway
By Scott Martin
posted: 02-16-10
An especially insightful review of Alexander Wang's recent New York Fashion Week runway show compared the designer's deconstruction of his fall line to "Art 101," and the Nude Descending a Staircase in particular. Like Duchamp's nude, the new season's wardrobe becomes visually fragmented on the runw ...more

Richard Hamilton Remembers Duchamp
posted: 02-14-10
Now 88, Richard Hamilton, father of pop art and transcriber of the notes contained in Duchamp's Green Box, is still active and profoundly influential if not famous. In a recent in-depth interview, he looks fondly back to his encounters with Duchamp ("the most charming person imaginable") while blast ...more

En Plein Air
By Scott Martin
posted: 02-12-10
A longtime associate of John Cage, painter Ray Kass has explored the reverberations of the retinal for decades through abstraction, chance operations, nature studies and critical work. A recently opened show in New York gallery IR77 Contemporary Art brings together examples of his recent output alon ...more

Daughter of Dust
posted: 02-11-10
Images like "A cause de l'elevage de poussiere" ("Because of Dust Breeding") and the 71-part Fait/Fact series have won Sophie Riselhueber (1949-) a nomination for the 2010 Deutsche Boerse Prize. One of four photographers so honored, Riselhueber began her career as a journalist. After a 1991 insight ...more

The Return of "Le Mouvement"
posted: 02-09-10
After 55 years, the seminal "Le Mouvement" exhibition has returned to remind connoisseurs of the possibilities of sculptural art that employs color, light, motion and time. Duchamp works on display at Basel's Museum Tinguely include Rotary Demisphere/Precision Optics and Rotoreliefs; other artists r ...more

Readymades, More or Less
posted: 02-09-10
The Duchampian gesture of ascribing totemic power -- "art" -- to otherwise arbitrary objects precipitated the inherent tension in the Surrealists' relationship to the commodity and its consequences, material and spirit, the everyday and the sublime. But while Duchamp himself appeared willing, even e ...more

Virtuoso Illusions: The Artist as Transvestite
posted: 02-08-10
A recently opened show at MIT's List Visual Arts Center lays bare the deep associations between cross-dressing and the artistic avant-garde, from classical drama to the (as always somewhat) polymorphous present. Naturally, the labors of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray to give birth to the transvestite pe ...more

40 Birds
posted: 02-04-10
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot's recent installation at the Barbican Art Gallery, in which 40 small birds were given musical instruments, has both become a Youtube sensation and been compared to the work of Marcel Duchamp. If the comparison is valid, the primary reference is to the chance operations; per ...more

Infrathin & Infrareal: The Latin Legacy of Marcel Duchamp
By Scott Martin
posted: 02-03-10
Taking Chilean writer Roberto Bolano's acclaimed novel 2666 as a starting point, the poet Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle hunts the legacy of Marcel Duchamp from readymade through the large glass in a tactical meditation on a few scattered references to the Duchampian category of the "infra-thin." ...more

Dancing the Staircase
posted: 02-02-10
With one foot firmly in the realm of dance and the other arched toward the visual arts, 28-year-old choreographer Jonah Bokaer often looks back to Duchamp -- spiritual godfather of his more immediate mentor Merce Cunningham -- for tactical inspiration. Bokaer has danced with bicycle wheels while the ...more

The Assembled Artist
By Scott Martin
posted: 02-02-10
The dada family resemblance -- never genetic, always a matter of aspiration and intent -- has been invoked to clarify the ways in which both Marcel Duchamp and Theo van Doesburg treated their artistic personas as performances. Duchamp famously had his Rrose and van Doesburg, best known as the founde ...more

In His Own Words...
posted: 02-01-10
Late in life Duchamp was better known as a commentator and critic than for his artistic production. In that light, the interviews he recorded in 1968 -- here set to archival footage -- set forth his persistent concerns lucidly and illuminatingly. From the early rejection of "retinal" representative ...more

Duchampian Music in Delaware (and Beyond)
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-29-10
Despite objections, Marcel Duchamp's legacy is conventionally interpreted within the context of the visual arts -- the empire of the "mere retinal" -- but he did compose two pieces of music and in them, his favorite work, Three Standard Stoppages, and elsewhere he explored the operation of chance in ...more

Dada Mama on Sale
posted: 01-28-10
A significant collection of work from Duchamp associate, collaborator and "dada mama" Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) is being sold off on Sunday in a California auction house near the town of Ojai, where she spent the last half-century of her life. Wood met Duchamp in New York during World War I and feat ...more

Few Words, Many Pictures
posted: 01-27-10
While millions of words have been written about Marcel Duchamp, some of the most compelling demonstrations of admiration for his work are wordless or nearly so, letting the images speak for themselves in their own language. An Australian graphic artist recently put together just such a tribute with ...more

The Man Behind the Female Joker, or Where He Gets His Ideas
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-26-10
Critical and popular prurience surrounding the career of Leonardo da Vinci has reached the point where art historians have asked permission to exhume the artist's earthly remains and compare the parameters of his skull to the features of his famous Mona Lisa, a somewhat literal-minded attempt to gro ...more

Influencing Jasper Johns
posted: 01-25-10
The intellectual influence of Marcel Duchamp over Jasper Johns and other painters who came of age in the 1950s is generally known, but decoding the heritage of various Flags, Targets and other "readymade" images on canvas -- not to mention the monumental According To What -- can still provoke surpri ...more

Muybridge, Marey, Marcel & the Matrix
posted: 01-22-10
The pioneering motion photography of 19th century researchers like Etienne-Jules Marey and Eadweard Muybridge (both 1830-1904) had an explicit influence on the epochal Nude Descending a Staircase and its painterly representation of motion through time. A human lifetime later, the stroboscopic univer ...more

Dali's Chess: Pushing Fingers
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-21-10
Enthusiasm for chess ran deep in Duchamp's circles, who spent thousands of hours playing the game and, in some cases, constructing their own unique sets. Salvador Dali engaged the game in 1964 by designing a set for the American Chess Federation that alludes to the function of the chess player -- om ...more

Matta in Miami
posted: 01-20-10
A major -- not to mention rare -- retrospective of the work of Roberto Matta sheds new light on the Chilean-born painter's oneiric and somewhat obscure eight-decade career. Miami dealer Gary Nader has assembled 50 canvases that span the 1930s to the 1990s to chart Matta's early Surrealist associati ...more

Chess & The Origin of the World
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-19-10
On the trail of Marcel Duchamp, art dealer Francis Naumann has diverted his professional attention from chess -- having curated the groundbreaking "Art of Chess" show last year -- to works that, like Etant Donnes, express the character of the vagina. "They are at opposite ends of the spectrum and, a ...more

Christie's Presents "Art of the Surreal"
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-14-10
On February 2, Christie's will hold its 10th annual Art of the Surreal sale dedicated to the work of artists associated with Andre Breton and his circle. Works up for auction include two paintings by Marcel Duchamp's lifelong friend Francis Picabia -- one, Nerii, Duchamp characterized as pointing th ...more

Dada South
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-14-10
Zurich, Berlin, Koln, Paris, New York ... Cape Town. The ambit of dada defied easy geographical classification as well as artistic convention and authoritarian politics, sometimes emerging half a century and half a world away from its Swiss origins. To explore dada's influence on South African "resi ...more

Disciplined Spontaneity
posted: 01-13-10
The elegance of chance is on display at New York gallery ZONE: CONTEMPORARY ART, featuring variants on the Surrealist game of exquisite corpse as well as other works created by Jackie Matisse, Sol LeWitt, John Cage and Joseph Beuys. Potentially destructive processes are prominent; one of the Cage pi ...more

The Magical Films of Joseph Cornell
posted: 01-12-10
A rare screening of Joseph Cornell's short films provides an occasion to reflect on the apparent relationships between his artistic preoccupations (assemblage, microcosm, memory) and those of longtime associate Marcel Duchamp (assemblage, "the waterfall and the illuminating gas"). The word "dreamlik ...more

"Blind Man" Show in London
posted: 01-11-10
The Institute of Contemporary Art has brought the successful exhibition, "For the Blind Man in the Dark Room Looking for the Black Cat that Isn't There," featuring a new printing of Marcel Duchamp's proto-dada journal Blind Man, to London. Taking its title from a quote attributed to Charles Darwin ( ...more

Seduction of Duchamp Opens in San Francisco
posted: 01-08-10
The extraordinary "Seduction of Duchamp" exhibition that gave 35 Bay Area artists a place to comment on Marcel Duchamp's preoccupations and career is re-opening at ArtZone 461 in San Francisco on Saturday, January 9. Two panel discussions, one on chance operations in art (January 19) and the other o ...more

(Masked) Man Ray
posted: 01-07-10
As art critic Richard B. Woodward points out, the artistic establishment that Man Ray and his Dada compatriots were rebelling against now seems impossibly distant from contemporary concerns, which forces contemporary critics to dig beyond mere provocation as a justification for the work's current re ...more

Dada Drawings of Clara Tice
posted: 01-05-10
Known as "the Queen of Greenwich Village" in her prime, Clara Tice was an illustrator, designer and (along with Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Stella and others) member of the artistic salon that crystallized around collector Walter Arensberg before his 1922 departure to California -- and then, aft ...more

Ready-made or Bespoke: The Artist as Dandy
By Scott Martin
posted: 01-05-10
Early reviews of an upcoming exhibition of contemporary images of dandyism in art refer to Marcel Duchamp as a "leitmotif" of the artist as appropriator of utilitarian objects (shoes, belts, wheels, urinals) into gestures that liberate the commonplace through the application of taste. Arguably the s ...more

By Scott Martin
posted: 01-04-10
While Andy Warhol cultivated significant creative distance from his dada forebears, that didn't stop him from occasionally documenting the movements of Marcel Duchamp in the 1960s, or from flirting with a more substantial project filming Duchamp on the model of his eight-hour Empire. Those intereste ...more

The Tree of Wheels
posted: 12-31-09
As one online commentator notes, "Duchamp must be 'spinning' in his grave" at the idea of 35 bicycle wheels reassembled in London's Bermondsley Square. The designers hope to inspire more of the city's residents to spin their own wheels instead of taking automotive transport. ...more

Barcelona Showcases Work of John Cage
posted: 12-30-09
Through January 10, visitors to Barcelona can experience the work of John Cage and other artists he worked with or learned from, thanks to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art's current exhibition, "The Anarchy of Silence."Marcel Duchamp is singled out in the show catalog as "the exceptional art ...more

The Seduction of Duchamp
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-29-09
A truly extraordinary gallery show recently brought together the work of 35 Bay Area artists in an extended comment on Marcel Duchamp's preoccupations and career, from Nude Descending to ...more

Last Week for "Twilight Visions" in Nashville
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-28-09
Bringing together over 100 iconic photographs as well as a wealth of Surrealist ephemera, a recent exhibition at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts explores, contextualizes and interprets the dream-life of Paris between the wars. Works on display include images composed by Man Ray, Hans Bellmer an ...more

Major Surrealist Retrospective Coming to Edinburgh
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-24-09
Next summer the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will exhibit all of its Surrealist art -- one of the largest public collections in the world -- as part of the extensive "Another World" retrospective show. Works on exhibit will include paintings by Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Pablo Picasso, ...more

The Irreverent Object
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-23-09
The recently closed show at New York's Luhring Augustine Gallery, The Irreverent Object: European Sculpture from the '60s, '70s and '80s, gave connoisseurs a chance to view what amounts to the evolution of the readymade art object and prompted discussion of the family resemblance between the exhibit ...more

Man Ray & Africa: Return to Egypt?
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-21-09
In an evocative review of the Phillips Collection's ongoing exhibition of Man Ray's interest in African art, painter Menachem Wecker ponders whether Ray's use of apparently Egyptian iconography points to a repudiation of his Jewish upbringing -- horses and pyramids skirt the edge of taboo -- or simp ...more

Taking Duchamp's Legacy for a Spin
posted: 12-20-09
Nearly a century after Marcel Duchamp mounted a bicycle wheel on a rickety stool, his influence is everywhere in the art world, prompting long-time art critic Sebastian Smee to meditate on the triumphs -- and pathos - of non-retinal art, which both confounds and disappoints the expectations of museu ...more

Man Ray/Nowhere Man
posted: 12-17-09
The occasion of the ongoing Alias Man Ray retrospective at the Jewish Museum in New York, along with the accompanying and eponymous biography of the notoriously peripatetic artist, recently prompted newspaper critic Robert Fulford to reflect on how Ray's self-invented life exemplifies the tension be ...more

Picabia Brings Top Price at Auction
posted: 12-16-09
A rarely seen 1935 painting by Francis Picabia led the way at an unexpectedly strong auction of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby's Paris, fetching over 700,000 euros. Three other works by Picabia, including Tournez Rare (ou Sirenes), briefly owned by Marcel Duchamp, sold, as did paintings and ...more

Louise Bourgeois, the Web & the Wheel
posted: 12-15-09
While Louise Bourgeois knew Miro, Ernst and other members of the Surrealist circle, her work is its own territory and must be approached on its own mordant terms. But as the recent documentary Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine demonstrates, elements of her sculpture bear a ...more

"Fresh Widow," or the Postwar Paradox
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-14-09
While often dismissed as simply an exercise in metaphysical punnery, the perpetually blackened eyes of Fresh Widow become somber when considered as both a memorial of and a barrier against the chaos of World War I, which left 1.4 million French citizens dead and hundreds of thousands of widows in it ...more

Music for Marcel Duchamp
posted: 12-14-09
John Cage's 1947 "Music for Marcel Duchamp" (Sonata XIII) extracted from its original visual context --part of the soundtrack for Hans Richter's Dreams That Money Can Buy -- and set against the urban Chilean nightscape. ...more

Retro-Appropriating the Photographic Image
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-11-09
In what's been called a campaign of "retro-appropriation," Brooklyn artist Dan Fischer minutely reproduces his favorite photographs in pencil, working over a chessboard-like grid that lets him abstract the images from their iconic personal and cultural context. The resulting texture is often describ ...more

Children of Mutt
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-10-09
The recycled provenance of Fountain and other objects associated with Marcel Duchamp exerts considerable theoretical influence over contemporary artists who incorporate found or discarded materials into their work. But is personal authorship the factor that derives art from trash or, as sculptor/cur ...more

"Cage & Cunningham" in Wisconsin
By Scott Martin
posted: 12-09-09
The long partnership between John Cage (1912-1992) and Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) generated a rich body of work and relationships through endless experimentation, paradox, and chance encounters like Cage's 1942 meeting with Marcel Duchamp. Cage, reportedly, was crying, having had a fight with Pegg ...more