Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp was born in Blainville-Crevon (Seine-Maritime) in 1887 into a family of artists.

In dialogue with the practice of his siblings, he started painting in the footsteps of Cubism before turning to the decomposition of movement, closer to Italian Futurism. From 1915 onwards, he divided his time between the United States and France, and participates in making the Parisian avant-garde familiar to the American public. At that time, he developed his most famous works, such as The Bride Stripped Bare by the Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) or Fountain, but focused progressively on chess, which would become, in the mid 1920s, his main occupation.

His collaboration on numerous exhibitions with André Breton, the frontrunner of the Surrealist movement, made him increasingly famous. In the 1950s, a new generation of American artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, recognized him as a precursor. The 1964 edition of his first readymade objects contributed to disseminate his work worldwide and thereby established him as a groundbreaking artist. Marcel Duchamp died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1968.

The work of Duchamp radically changed the art of the 20th century. With Bottle Rack, he invented the concept of the readymade in 1914 and thus opened the way to all movements that would use objects from everyday life. Surrealism, Pop Art, New Realism and Fluxus, are indebted to him for breaking the academic standards. Duchamp is the modern artist who most directly questioned the notion of art. His work raises aesthetic issues, notably on the concepts of authenticity and originality, which are still developed by the proponents of conceptual art.