Happy Birthday Marcel Duchamp! Better Late than Never…

Duchamp 'Fountain'
Duchamp 'Fountain'

Yesterday was the birthday of French artist Marcel Duchamp (b.1887 – 1968).  He is said to be the inventer of conceptual art.  When he submitted ‘Fountain‘, a urinal to The Society of Independent Artist in 1917 signing it R. Mutt and displaying it as art, this had an immediate effect…. and art was never the same again.

nude descending from a staircase  No. 2 duchamp
nude descending from a staircase No. 2 duchamp

He  was a Surrealist and also a Dadaist (I shall be writing about them soon).  He like to challenge art establishments and the way that art was percieved.  One of his earlier works ‘Nude descending a staircase No. 2’ shows the artist’s interest with the  mechanism of movement. This is a hybrid  of Cubism and Futurism.  He created controversy when he exhibited this at the 1913 Armory show.

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors
Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Another of Duchamp’s works, ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by her Batchelors’  is a very complicated peiece of work (better explained HERE).  His  ‘readymades’ as he called them, consisted of found objects which he would cobble together and sign: an extreme form of  minimalism.  Andre Breton defined the ‘readymade’ as;

“an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.”

Duchamp didn’t produce many works, but is still a very interesting artist who made important contributions to art and especially the way in which art is percieved.

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.




Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton


Van Gogh








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