Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp, Marcel (märsĕlˈ düshäNˈ) [key], 1887–1968, French painter, brother of Raymond Duchamp-Villon and half-brother of Jacques Villon. Duchamp is noted for his cubist-futurist painting Nude Descending a Staircase, depicting continuous action with a series of overlapping figures; it was the cause of great controversy when exhibited in 1913 at the New York Armory Show. Duchamp invented ready-mades—commonplace objects—e.g., the urinal entitled Fountain, which he exhibited as works of art. In 1915 he was a co-founder of a Dada group in New York. After 1920, Duchamp produced a series of elaborate nonfunctional machines. He emigrated to the United States in 1942. Many of his works, including the celebrated symbolic construction The Bride stripped bare by her Bachelors, even (1915–23), are at the Philadelphia Mus. of Art.

See M. Sanouillet and E. Peterson, ed., The Writings of Marcel Duchamp (1989); P. Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1978, repr. 1987) and C. Tomkins, The Afternoon Interviews (2013); catalog with study ed. by A. D'Harnoncourt and K. McShine (1973); biography by C. Tomkins (1996, repr. 2013); J. Masheck, Marcel Duchamp in Perspective (1973, repr. 2002); R. E. Kuenzli and F. M. Naumann, ed., Marcel Duchamp: Artist of the Century (1989); P. Hulten, ed., Marcel Duchamp: Work and Life (1993); J. Mink, Duchamp: 1887–1968: Art as Anti-Art (tr. 2000); H. Molderings, Duchamp and the Aesthetics of Chance (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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