Duchamp

Duchamp

A Biography

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of one of the fathers of post-modernism reveals Marcel Duchamp's humor, originality, and charm, as well as the artist's romantic affairs and his influence on contemporary personalities

Blackwell North Amer
Marcel Duchamp's life is sometimes described as his greatest work of art, but not until now, with the publication of Calvin Tomkins's monumental biography, has the interplay of life and art been fully revealed. Born into a large, closely knit bourgeois family, Duchamp followed his older brothers to Paris a few years before Cubism had revolutionized painting. His emergence as an artist coincided with that historic moment, but throughout his long life he charted his own unique course - an open-ended adventure in which art was conceived primarily, in the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci, as a "mental act." More decisively than anyone else, Duchamp advanced the idea that art should be its own reality and not an imitation of something outside itself.
Arriving in New York in 1915 (America would become his adopted country), he was astonished to find that his reputation - as the French artist whose Nude Descending a Staircase had been the notorious sensation of the Armory Show two years earlier - was "equaled only by Sarah Bernhardt and Napoleon." Duchamp made no effort to promote himself or his work, and when fame overtook him, not once but twice, at two widely spaced intervals, he greeted it with ironic amusement. He had wanted to put art at the service of the mind, and, as Tomkins makes clear, it was this ambition - fueled by his use of language, chance, optics, film, and other metavisual techniques, and above all by his famous readymades - that quietly undermined and eventually transformed five hundred years of Western art.

Baker
& Taylor

A full-scale portrait of one of the fathers of post-modernism reveals Marcel Duchamp's humor, originality, and charm, as well as the artist's romantic affairs and his influence on contemporary personalities. 15,000 first printing. $12,500 ad/promo.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, c1996
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805008234
0805008233
Branch Call Number: Biography D856t
Characteristics: 550 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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