Duchampian News & Views

  • Few Have Explored This Bewildering Territory

    "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 in business suit and bowler hat, the revolutionary explorer who wove together into one strand the activities of showing and saying, geometry and linguistics, painter and poet. In th.. read more...
  • For The Reading List: Man Ray&#39s Montparnasse

    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 pace of a tight page-turner while encompassing the major personages, relationships, movements and trysts at the center of Paris’s interwar bohemia...rendering them as they mig.. read more...
  • Oops, They Did It Again

    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 channel.  Two artists, positioned across from one another with the Fountain between them as though in competition, relieved themselves over Duchamp’s piece at the Tate mus.. read more...
  • Parisian Gallery Focuses on Multiples and Editions in New Show

    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 reflection on the issue of multiples and "mass-produced" sets in "fine" art (which really achieved widespread legitimacy only with the arrival of Warhol and Lichtens.. read more...
  • Aren’t You Bored By Duchamp’s Legacy?

    “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 powerlessness of avant-garde art to elicit indignation from a society that is too liberal but still not free enough, too eager to mask its conflict behind pluralism and too anxious to clo.. read more...
  • Beyond Nude Chess: Eve Babitz Embodied Bygone L.A.

    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 is composed and comfortable, and Duchamp himself does not seem to care that his opponent has no clothes on. Behind them is “The Large Glass," or “The Bride Stripp.. read more...
  • Eye Drawing: Paysant’s Art Comes Directly From the Head

    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 suitably), technological aids and prostheses were always tied in with this tradition. And the French contemporary artist Michel Paysant has taken the scientific solution to the next l.. read more...
  • Lee Miller: More than a Muse

    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 interesting retelling of their story, it documents the various phases of their interconnected lives: as strangers, as mentor and student, as lovers, and finally as friends. Ultimately, .. read more...
  • Games, Continued

    "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 Western culture where it constituted a very important part of manorial culture, to pinochle, Lotto, and Scrabble, games formulate (and already formalize) rules organizing moves and .. read more...
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