13 November 2013
What’s up with Marcel Duchamp?
One of the most unique figures in the continuum of the art world, Marcel Duchamp changed the way we look at and produce art today. Duchamp was by far; one of the most controversial figures in art and is highly recognized for his works of what scholars label as “readymades” (Pritikin 637). Duchamp is not only an interesting figure in the world of art and the study of art history, but he is significant because of the controversy that he caused in how one perceives and views art; as well Duchamp in his time and even still today has individuals questioning what exactly is art, and how is art deemed as something that is considered as art.
Two of the most well known and talked about pieces of Duchamp’s include The Fountain (figure 1) and Large Glass (figure 2), subtitled The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even. Duchamp created many other pieces that caught the attention of critics, other artists, and the population in a negative way, such as his Nude Descending a Staircase No.2 (figure 3); however, these two pieces alone, brought about the greatest amount of controversy.
In 1913 Duchamp made his debut in America with his well-known Cubist influenced painting titled Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 at the 1913 Armoury Show. Although this was only one of the many Cubist paintings in the show, it caused a considerable stir, even provoking one critic to state that it resembled ‘that of an explosion in a shingle factory’ (Arnason 166-67). Not only did critics state that it looked as if a bomb went off in a factory full of shingles, many also stated that the only reason this piece attracted any attention was due to its title, and nothing more (Pritikin 636-37).
Not long after in 1917 Duchamp began to shock the world yet again with his now famous piece titled Fountain. Fountain is a piece of art that consists of a urinal that was...