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Artists Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

French Painter and Sculptor

Marcel Duchamp Photo
Movements and Styles: Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Conceptual Art

Born: July 28, 1887 - Normandy, France

Died: October 2, 1968 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

"You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition."

Marcel Duchamp Signature

Synopsis

Few artists can boast having changed the course of art history in the way that Marcel Duchamp did. By challenging the very notion of what is art, his first "readymades" sent shock waves across the art world that can still be felt today. Duchamp's ongoing preoccupation with the mechanisms of desire and human sexuality as well as his fondness for wordplay aligns his work with that of Surrealists, although he steadfastly refused to be affiliated with any specific artistic movement per se. In his insistence that art should be driven by ideas above all, Duchamp is generally considered to be the father of Conceptual art. His refusal to follow a conventional artistic path, matched only by a horror of repetition which accounts for the relatively small number of works Duchamp produced in the span of his short career, ultimately led to his withdrawal from the art world. In later years, Duchamp famously spent his time playing chess, even as he labored away in secret at his last enigmatic masterpiece, which was only unveiled after his death.

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