Posted by thomas on June 08, 19101 at 02:28:48:
In Reply to: Marcel Duchamp unknown Nu Descendant Escalier posted by Damien C. Lameray on June 06, 19101 at 07:14:09:
This bulletin board is run by the organization that also runs the Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal at www.toutfait.com. You've contacted us about a month ago re: the painting and I take the liberty of attaching my answer once more below. As I pointed out before, we are in no way entitled to
authenticate any works by Marcel Duchamp. Besides the estate, I would also suggest contacting the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Here's the answer from May 16th:
After examination of the images that you sent to us, it was not very difficult to conclude that, in my personal opinion, the oil painting you own is hardly a work by Marcel Duchamp. First of all the dimensions are unlikely to have ever been used that way by Duchamp. The back of the canvas and the stretcher don't have any marks of provenance, previous ownership or possible exhibition labels. Although Duchamp at the time sometimes signed his works with upper case letters, the signature and title do not resemble Duchamp's handwriting at all. The title itself leaves out the "un" (french for "a") of Duchamp's title of all versions from 1911-1913: "Nu descendant [un] escalier", which is gramatically incorrect. The subject matter istelf (the colors, the composition, the overall execution) is unlike anything Duchamp ever did (who stopped painting enirely in 1917). The white swirling brushstrokes are slightly reminiscent of Mark Tobey's white writing and even Matta's various hommages to MD's paintings. Judging from experience I believe the canvas was not painted before the mid-1950's but could have been done even a few years ago - by an amateurish hand who wanted to pay a tribute to Duchamp knowing that noone would mistake it for this artist's work.
Sorry to not be able to be of more help. Let me tell you again that we are in no way entitled to authenticate works by Duchamp (you'd have to contact the estate or the Philadelphia Museum of Art). But you have asked for my opinion on the subject matter and I was happy to provide you with it.
The joy the painting brings to you should in no way be affected by its being a Duchamp or not a Duchamp