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Inspired by Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, the cerebral. At the heart of his work lies an intellectual process never seen before in the history of art. He rejects the idea of “art as art", and redefines perspectivism by simplifying the object, supporting the concept, and creating complete randomness.

Marcel Duchamp was born on the 28th July 1887 in Blainville. One of seven children (of whom four are artists), he was the son of an accomplished musician. The Duchamp children we preconditioned into an artistic lifestyle, through not only their musical father but also artist grandfather.

At just 13, Duchamp created his first known work, “Magdeleine au piano" (Magdeleine playing piano). He was hugely inspired by Impressionist painter, Claude Monet in his youth, and would paint landscapes of the Blainville countryside. A model student, he was just fifteen when he obtained his baccalaureate, and that same year he was awarded the “Friends of the Arts" prize.

In 1904 he moved to Montmartre with his brother and painter, Jacques Villon. He began studying at the private art school, Académie Julian, but left soon after due to the boring theoretical lessons. Having never officially studied art, Marcel Duchamp can be considered a self-taught artist.

The works from his youth are largely inspired by Henri Matisse and Fauvism in general. However from 1911, he liberated himself artistically and created his own technique inspired by Cubist and Futurist works. 

In 1912, Duchamp's infamous "Nude descending the stairs," took the Armory Show in New York by storm. 1913 marked the beginning of his world-famous "Readymades." Readymades were found objects which Duchamp chose and presented as art. It was through works such as “Bicycle Wheel" and “Fountain", that Duchamp aimed to question the very notion of “Art".

Despite the controversy of the movement, Readymades turned the art world upside down and changed the course of art history. It completely altered attitudes to art and its purpose.

Duchamp spent most of his life living between global cultural hubs; Paris and New York. He associated with many influential artists of the time (and today), including Dada artist, Man Ray.

"Rrose Sélavy" (also spelled Rose Sélavy) was one of Duchamp's pseudonyms. The name sounds like the French phrase “Eros c'est la vie" ("Eros, such is life"). In 1965 whilst at a dinner with 30 members of the “L'Etude du Mouvement Dada" (“Dada Movement Study"), Duchamp smoked a cigar and deposited the ash in a container. He then sealed the container and declared it a Readymade work, calling it “Urn With Ashes of Duchamp['s Cigar]."

Marcel Duchamp died in Paris in 1968, and his ashes remain in a family vault in Rouen. The inscription on Duchamp's tombstone reads “Anyway, it's always the others who die."

Discover the emerging artists inspired by the pioneer of the avant-garde. Works such as Box in a Suitcase, Bicycle Wheel, Fountain, L.H.O.O.Q and The Large Glass, have been paid tribute to by the likes of Marabout and Marc Rembold. Question is, can you recognise them?

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Mario Prassinos, Cubism, Painting

Mario Prassinos

Cubism, 1947
26 x 20.3 inch


Miguel Guía, Masque Cubiste Grand, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Masque Cubiste Grand, 2002
13.4 x 3.9 x 6.7 inch


Miguel Guía, Guitariste Arlequin Grand, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Guitariste Arlequin Grand, 2003
13.4 x 6.7 x 8.3 inch


Marabout, Duchampagne pour Droopy, Painting


Duchampagne pour Droopy, 2015
31.5 x 31.5 x 2 inch


Max Ernst, Hommage à Marcel Duchamp, Print

Max Ernst

Hommage à Marcel Duchamp, 1974
8.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inch


Joana Lucas, Uneven (Ateneu), Painting

Joana Lucas

Uneven (Ateneu), 2018
47.2 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch


Max Ernst, Hommage à Marcel Duchamp 2, Print

Max Ernst

Hommage à Marcel Duchamp 2, 1974
8.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inch


Jean-Michel Zazzi, Rrose Sélavy, Painting

Jean-Michel Zazzi

Rrose Sélavy, 2019
45.3 x 30.3 x 1.2 inch


Fabien Vieilletoile, Urgent need, Photography

Fabien Vieilletoile

Urgent need, 2012
36.6 x 55.1 x 1.2 inch


Antonio Asis, Without title 1, Print

Antonio Asis

Without title 1, 2013
19.7 x 19.3 inch


Francisco Nicolás, One fountain at the forest, Print

Francisco Nicolás

One fountain at the forest, 2018
11.8 x 15.7 x 0 inch


Carlo Maiolini, Air de Paris, Painting

Carlo Maiolini

Air de Paris, 2017
23.6 x 23.6 x 1.2 inch


Pierre Clama, Portrait noir, Painting

Pierre Clama

Portrait noir, 1964
28.7 x 23.6 inch


Olivier Sultan, Valise-Mémoire 2, Sculpture

Olivier Sultan

Valise-Mémoire 2, 2013
13.8 x 13.8 x 3.5 inch


Olivier Sultan, Valise Mémoire 3, Sculpture

Olivier Sultan

Valise Mémoire 3, 2010
27.6 x 39.4 x 3.9 inch


Egle Karpaviciute, Rrose Selavy, Painting

Egle Karpaviciute

Rrose Selavy, 2012
35.4 x 27.6 x 1.2 inch


Jean-Yves Cousseau, Grand nu descendu de  l'escalier, Photography

Jean-Yves Cousseau

Grand nu descendu de l'escalier, 1997
20.5 x 13.4 x 0.8 inch


Christo, Maurizio Galimberti - Christo Ready Made - Affezione n. 339, Photography


Maurizio Galimberti - Christo Ready Made - Affezione n. 339, 2010
6.3 x 6.5 inch

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Max Ernst, Jeu d'échecs en Or 23 carats et Argent sulfurisé 1er titre, Sculpture

Max Ernst

Jeu d'échecs en Or 23 carats et Argent sulfurisé 1er titre, 1965
23.6 x 23.6 x 2 inch

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