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Artists in 60 Seconds: Marcel Duchamp


© 2006 Marcel Duchamp/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/Succession Marcel Duchamp

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946). Fountain, photograph of sculpture by Marcel Duchamp, 1917. Gelatin silver print. 9 ¼ x 7" (23.5 x 17.7 cm)

Succession Marcel Duchamp, Villiers-sous-Grez, France

Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:

Cubism > Dadaism > Surrealism

Date and Place of Birth:

July 28, 1887, Blainville, Normandy, France


A man of great humor and wit, Duchamp loved nothing more than jokes, puns and challenging others to think beyond conventional wisdom. He is best known for introducing the ready-made (or "found") object into visual art, co-founding Dada and being affiliated with the Surrealists. Perhaps his greatest contribution, though, is that he almost singlehandedly shifted the focus of art away from the strictly visual and onto the mental. Duchamp's enormous impact on Contemporary Art cannot be overstated.

Important Works:

  • Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912
  • Bicycle Wheel, 1913 (first version)
  • Fountain, 1917
  • L.H.O.O.Q., 1919
  • The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even ("The Large Glass"), 1915-23

Date and Place of Death:

October 2, 1968, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

How To Pronounce "Duchamp":


Sources and Further Reading

  • deDuve, Thierry (Ed.). The Definitively Unfinished Marcel Duchamp.
    Cambridge : MIT Press, 1991.

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  • Duchamp, Marcel; Naumann, Francis M.; et. al.
    Affectionately, Marcel: The Selected Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp.
    Gent : Ludion, 2000.

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  • Duchamp, Marcel; Sanouillet, Michel and Peterson, Elmer.
    The Writings of Marcel Duchamp.
    New York : Da Capo Press; 1989.

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  • Schwarz, Arturo. The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp (2 Volumes in 1).
    New York : Delano Greenidge, 2001.

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  • Temkin, Ann; et. al. Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp ... Resonance.
    Stuttgart : Cantz Editions, 1999.

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  • Tomkins, Calvin. Duchamp: A Biography.
    New York : Owl Books, 1998 (Reprint edition).

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    Note: If you're only inclined to read one book on Duchamp, this is the most highly recommended.

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