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Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964)

Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964)

Marcel Duchamp (in 1964)

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Title Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964)
Material and technique Leatherette, linen, cardboard, paper, letterpress and gelatin silver print on film
Object type
Assemblage > Three-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Artists Kunstenaar: Marcel Duchamp
Accession number MB 1990/5 a-d (MK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1990
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1990
Age artist About 77 years old
Provenance Antiquariat Buchhandel M. und U. Fricke, Düsseldorf 1990
Exhibitions Rotterdam 2013-14b
Research Digitising Contemporary Art
A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van beuningen
Literature Naumann 1999, pp. 238, 245, 260; Schwarz 2000, p. 834, cat. no. 594; Marcadé 2007, pp. 481-82
Letterpress > Manual > Relief printing techniques > Printing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Gelatine silver print > Bromide print > Photographic printing technique > Mechanical > Planographic printing > Printing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin France > Western Europe > Europe

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Entry catalogue Digitising Contemporary Art, A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van beuningen

Author: Bert Jansen

Alfred Stieglitz, 'Fountain' by Marcel Duchamp, gelatin silver print, 1917

From 1962 until his death in 1968, Marcel Duchamp was in contact with the Milanese gallery owner Arturo Schwarz, who prepared an oeuvre catalogue of his work. The book Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964) was published to coincide with the exhibition Omaggio a Marcel Duchamp staged in Schwarz’s gallery in 1964 on the launch of the reproductions of original readymades in a limited edition. Perhaps as a response to the oft-voiced comment that he was straying towards commercialism, Duchamp had a reproduction of Obligation de Monte Carlo – a work that he had made in 1924 and with which he wanted to operate outside the art market – printed on the slip-case of the book.

On the cover there is an illustration of Fountain, the urinal Duchamp signed in 1917 with the name R. Mutt and in the same year tried unsuccessfully to enter in an exhibition mounted by the recently formed Society of Independent Artists in New York. The committee thought that the entry was a poor joke and did not want to accept the urinal, even though the articles of association stipulated that nothing could be refused. Thereupon Duchamp and his friends Beatrice Wood, Henri-Pierre Roché and Louise Norton published a pamphlet about this unjust refusal with a photograph of the object in question by Alfred Stieglitz. The scandal made the work famous. This etching of Fountain, made from Stieglitz’s photograph, is printed in white on a black background. Above it is printed: Un robinet original revolutionaire (An original revolutionary faucet) and “renvoi miroirique”? (Mirrorical return). Below it: “un robinet qui s'arrète à couler quand en ne l'écoute pas” (a faucet that stops dripping when nobody is listening to it). Some letters are printed in colour and together form the words ‘urinoir’ and ‘urine’.

This book also contains a print on celluloid of one of the three photographs Duchamp took in 1914 to determine the shape of the ‘draft pistons’, part of Le Grand Verre (1915-23). On the back is a print of an earlier work by Duchamp, À la manière de Delvaux (In the Manner of Delvaux), a 1942 collage of a detail from a painting by the Belgian artist Paul Delvaux of a mirror in which we can see a bust of a woman. Duchamp surrounded this reproduction of a painted mirror with a piece of silver paper which gave the mirror image the effect of a photograph.

After Milan the exhibition travelled through Europe, with the readymades that had meanwhile been manufactured. In the Netherlands it was shown in the Gemeentemuseum The Hague and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. This publication and the first catalogue by Robert Lebel of 1959 (Eau et gaz, à tous les étages), along with the catalogue of the first retrospective of Duchamp in 1963, marked the beginning of Duchamp’s renewed success, forty years after the start of his artistic career.[1]




[1] In Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen five of Duchamp’s readymades were included in the group exhibition De metamorfose van het object (1971).

Show research Digitising Contemporary Art Show research A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van beuningen
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All about the artist

Marcel Duchamp

Blainville-Crevon 1887 - Neuilly-sur-Seine 1968

Marcel Duchamp can be considered one of the founders of Dadaism and conceptual art. He became famous for, among other things, his 'ready mades': existing...

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